Internet: A major part of today’s healthcare industry
In today’s world, 8 out of every 10 homes in America are currently using an online connection; the impact of the World Wide Web is being felt across every industry. Although, traditionally a paper-driven industry, healthcare is also being impacted by the growing use of the Internet.
One of the primary aspects of the healthcare market being affected by the Internet is the ability of patients to be more knowledgeable about their own care options. There are many online options for patients, that allow users the access to information about health issues and treatment options. It also allows the users to be more informed about doctors that are treating them. No longer do patients just rely on word of mouth reviews when looking up a doctor. Sites like Health Grades and Vitals provide users with up-to-date testimonials and reviews of any practice. Users are also able to find healthcare providers. With a simple Google search, users can find directory listings of doctors for nearly every major city in the country.
Ease of Access to Information
With the ease that patients can access healthcare information on the Web, it has become important for doctors to not only have a Web presence, but to manage their presence as well. Unfortunately, the growth of the Internet has also led to the growth of sites that should not be giving advice to patients about their healthcare. It is important for doctors to distinguish their sites and practices from these negative sites.
A good way to distinguish your practice through the Internet is by highlighting your qualifications on your site and starting a community with your patients through the use of social media. Setting up blogs and social media accounts has made a huge impact on the growth of doctor’s practices. By utilizing sites like Google Plus, Facebook and LinkedIn, doctors can stay in touch with their patients, which make the patient feel better connected with the doctor. This relationship usually leads to an expanding relationship between doctor/patient.
As previously mentioned, it is as important as ever for a doctor to manage his image, especially on the Internet. When creating these online profiles, it is important for the doctor to consider the negative consequences that can arise and do what is necessary to prevent these things from happening.
Social Media Management
While it is impossible for a doctor to manipulate their rating on sites like Vitals and Health Grades, doctors with a positive rating should use this information as a way to attract new patients. Every doctor should have a section on their website that highlights their ratings and qualifications so patients know they can be trusted. Also, doctors need to have a social media managing company that monitors their image through social media sites. It is important to quickly remove any comments that may appear on your page that could potentially be offensive to your patients. Also, this company should help your site with Search Engine Optimization, which includes monitoring how your site ranks in search engines and making sure that all the sites that link to your site are trustworthy.
Axiom is a company that can help a doctor’s practice create a positive web presence. Their healthcare/technology professionals know how to create web sites that will portray the image that a doctor wants to his patients. Axiom will create and monitor the social media profiles for the doctor while also performing SEO to ensure that the site is reaching the audience that the doctor desires.
The growth of the Internet has the ability to have a major positive impact on doctors who know how to use it properly. The Internet has given users the ability to find information about a doctor quickly from their home PC, or mobile device. That is why it is critically important for all doctors to have a Web site that is properly managed to portray a positive image of their practice.