Removing negative reviews is a challenge for any individual, especially for physicians. Doctors everywhere are constantly the focus of Internet traffic for both their name and their medical services. This creates an extremely competitive space in which attracting new patients online will depend on how appealing a physician is compared to other doctors in the same field and location. While those with healthcare reputation management will be provided protection, those without it will be open to unjust but disparaging comments affecting their business.
Some physicians will do anything to look good compared to a direct competitor. Without healthcare reputation management, a doctor is easily susceptible to attack from a fellow physician’s negative and unwarranted comments on your Vitals or RateMDs profiles. Because removing negative reviews can be so challenging, this present a real problem for any doctor being attacked with negative testimonials.
Matador Solutions healthcare reputation management team has seen this happen from time to time, and these occurrences are far from uncommon. Physicians know that potential patients who search for them and see negative reviews are likely turn to a physician from a rival practice. No, the testimonial isn’t true. Yes, that’s completely unjust. But 72% of people reading your reviews will trust them according to a study done by Nielson. Would you select a personal physician when the first thing that comes up when you search them on Google is a scathing testimonial?
The good news is there are proactive ways to protect your online reputation from attacks from fellow physicians. Instead of removing negative reviews after the fact, our advice is to be proactive make sure you’re doing the following to insulate your practice from negative comments.
1. Do weekly searches for yourself and review your profiles on review sites
2. Collect reviews using a HIPAA-compliant methodology so you can hide negative testimonials
3. Create websites and minisites to suppress review sites all together
The real lesson here is that doctors trying to get a leg up in the online space will attack successful physicians on occasion. Instead of trying to control something you can’t or remove a negative review, you should be proactive about ensuring that negative comments are never seen in the first place. By owning real estate on Google for searches involving your name, you can control exactly what people see about you online, and thus make the attacks of other doctors much less visible.
Healthcare reputation management is a large job, but it’s imperative that it’s being done for your service so that instead of focusing on bringing in more patients, you can focus on patient care.