A while back, I received an e-mail from a physician on our hospital’s medical staff. He asked me pointedly if I was “in charge of the Internet.” I resisted the temptation to reveal my true identity as the Internet’s Supreme Commander, and instead I dug a little deeper into his question. He found a less-than-stellar user review of himself on a Web site, and wondered if there was anything I could do about it. Nope. Sorry.
If you’re in healthcare marketing, you know that “word-of-mouth” is still one of the strongest tools you have in your arsenal. But with the rise of consumer review sites, somebody might be talking about your hospital. Patients shout out their feelings about every experience they've ever had—and it remains posted for as long as the Web site will archive it. Healthcare experiences are ripe for this—after all, who hasn’t had a lousy healthcare experience?
I want to educate our medical staff about healthcare on the Internet by simply raising their level of awareness of what’s out there. It’s an ongoing project. I emphasize the best thing our staff can do is provide great care and customer service all of the time.
Being “in charge” of the Internet is a big responsibility. However, it’s nothing compared to being in charge of a patient’s health and well-being. You should do what you can to educate your medical staff about what's out there. Below, you'll see a few sites that contain physician reviews to get you started.
And feel free to add a few of your favorites.
Coming up: WebMD Says I Might Have Toe Cancer...