The internet is a shining beacon of modern day freedom of expression and information for all individuals in the world. Due to this, a wealth of information about good practicing dermatologists is available here. Sadly, the World Wide Web is also home to tons of misinformation and is prone to errors.
Individuals have so much freedom online that dermatology professionals may sometimes find it difficult to safeguard their online reputations. Several rating and ranking websites, dedicated to the healthcare sector have cropped up on the web.
These sites are akin to a double-edged sword. While on the one hand, they help dermatologists create favorable public opinion through positive word of mouth, on the other hand, the same sites can be the reason for trouble due to human biases and prejudices.
Classification of Online Rating Sites
You can group the websites that rate doctors into four categories.
The Rating Process
All websites that rank/rate doctors adhere to one of the following methods to arrive at their ratings.
Despite these multiple methods, a dermatologist’s ratings swing in the direction of the patients’ opinions making the entire system highly unreliable and subjective.
Being Proactive to Escape Online Bias
For a dermatologist, a proactive approach is the best way to avoid becoming infamous online. The number of patients doing an online reference check of their doctor is increasing every day. What they read on the internet can affect whom they choose to go to with their health problems.
Damage control is only part of the reason to be probative. Offering information upfront to websites can help dermatologists restrict opportunities for wrong information being posted online.
Difficulties of Anonymous Feedback
One of the key aspects of the internet is the level of anonymity it offers. Online users can sometimes post inaccurate, irresponsible, even untrue statements online. The usage of aliases is also common online. Keeping their own reputation and identity hidden, they can easily tarnish another’s name in a very public manner.
Google is leading the drive against such occurrences by making it mandatory to declare your actual name while posting reviews on Google Business. All businesses and professionals depending upon customer feedback may welcome this measure, but it poses a new problem for the healthcare sector.
Patients prefer to remain anonymous while discussing their private health issues on public forums like the internet. Only five percent of patients disclose their complete names while reviewing a doctor online. Google’s initiative may create challenges in case of dermatologists because many of their patients could be unwilling to disclose their names while giving feedback.
Hire Online Image Consultants
Dermatologists planning to establish themselves in any regions cannot overlook the power of the internet and their dependence on digital marketing.
Search engine optimization companies and image consultants can carry out these tasks in an effective and pocket friendly manner. Taking the support of these professionals can ensure that the dermatologist’s online reputation remains intact at all times without compromising on professional integrity or standards.
Years of hard work go into building a good reputation. But one viral bad review online can weaken the same reputation in seconds. With the patient’s comfort level with the internet growing each day, a dermatologist will be better off taking proactive steps to ensure his or her online reputation remains intact. In this scenario, prevention is the best form of cure.« Get back to the Ekwa Hub