Patients often expect that their providers are online. Many practices have website to allow patients access to their Patient Portal and Online Scheduling, but it is generally a good idea to also include directions to your practice and a list of your services. You can also consider staff images and credentials, or even a practice blog. 

Many practices use Facebook and Twitter (or other social media) to connect with potential patients or promote patient education and health literacy among their current patients. Social media can be a powerful way to launch a health campaign, for example. Keep in mind, though, that HIPAA applies to social media. Patient privacy and safeguarding protected health information (PHI) is of the utmost importance, even in a direct messages with patients. (To securely communicate patient information online, only use Doctor-Patient Secure Messaging through the Patient Portal.)

Beyond just Facebook and Twitter, rating websites and systems allow patients to leave feedback specifically for a doctor’s office. Potential patients are using the Internet and online reviews to find the best doctor in their area. More than 73% of patients say that positive reviews make them trust a practice more. There are more opportunities to engage with reviews than ever before since nearly a third of all patients leave online reviews, according to the Journal of General Internal Medicine. Patients often use social media platforms to share their experiences with a practice and find new practices when they are unhappy with their current provider.

Developing an online reputation management strategy will help you improve patient experience, along with your reviews. MacPractice Reputation and Review Software puts you in control of your online reputation by delivering feedback and patient reviews in real time, so you can take control of your reputation and then promote it online.

MacPractice Reputation Plus automatically reaches out to and follows up with your recent patients to generate a feedback snapshot of their most recent visit to your practice. It also aggregates your patient feedback and online reviews into a simple dashboard that shows the overall feedback and online rating score of your practice. Patients are routed to your practice’s page to leave positive reviews, but negative reviews are given a form giving you the opportunity to address a poor experience promptly.

Practices that understand that their online footprint is an important tool for patients should develop a plan for creating a positive online presence.