Most people these days will search for businesses online when they have a problem that needs to be solved. Finding a new physician is no different.
For this reason, doctors are incentivized to manage their online reputation. There are many directories where physician and facility information is listed, and keeping an eye on the most widely used sites can ensure that your prospective patients receive accurate and up-to-date information.
Which doctor review sites should you be watching? How can you use these online sites to monitor patient satisfaction and manage your reputation in the digital sphere?
Let’s take a look at the top fifteen physician review sites you’ll want to actively manage.
1. Google Business Profile
Formerly known as (and often still referred to as) Google My Business, your Google Business Profile is an important online platform to manage. Whenever you search for a restaurant, retail store, healthcare facility, or any other type of physical business on Google, you will receive the map pack at the top of your search results showing the results Google thinks fit your query best.
For many people, this is as far as they need to look. This means that sites in the top three spots on the Google Maps results often get significantly more traffic than those requiring a few more clicks.
Making a Google Business Profile is free and easy. Ensure that all your information is input accurately and consistently across all your online platforms to help SEO work for you.
There are more than 7.8 million ratings and reviews on Vitals for physicians, specialists, hospitals, recovery facilities, and other healthcare professionals. The site uses a badge system that ranks medical professionals by rewarding those who often receive top ratings.
Prospective patients can use this site to research physicians before making an appointment. For example, they can learn what their credentials are, how long they’ve been in practice, where they received their degrees, and which hospitals they are affiliated with.
WebMD is one of the major health information services sites on the web and is also home to a popular hospital and physician directory.
When monitoring WebMD, you’ll want to ensure that all the information about your practice is correct and up-to-date. It’s also important to ensure all your practice locations are listed.
HealthGrades is a site that displays physician recommendations via percentage. Patients can sort lists of local medical professionals using a number of different search functions, including location, quality of patient reviews, gender, and the type of insurance accepted.
Users also have the ability to see additional information about physicians in their area, including languages spoken by the medical staff, the number of hospital affiliations, and office locations. Physician’s educational information and licensure data are also available to patients on HealthGrades.
Though Yelp is not a directory that is specific to healthcare, it is a popular review and business listing site. Patients can review physicians, hospitals, and offices here. Based on the reviews left by previous patients, healthcare professionals and facilities are ranked and offered in lists named the “Top 10 Best Doctors Near” the location specified in the search.
When you update your Yelp information, you can input logistical information such as your location, hours, and amenities. Yelp makes it clear throughout its website that businesses aren’t able to alter or remove reviews, which makes it a trusted site for consumers and patients alike.
When patients search for doctors on RateMDs, they can view how they rank using a five-point scoring system. They can also use the search function to find doctors that meet their specific criteria, including honing in on physicians by location, specialty, and gender.
Additional information about each doctor is available, including educational background, languages, hospital affiliations, and whether or not they are accepting new patients.
ZocDoc is another popular site for finding physicians, allowing patients to search for doctors based on their services, specialties, credentials, and much more. This site even offers a premium plan for users so they can use the site to immediately book appointments with the physician they feel best fits their needs.
As with the other sites on this list, it’s ideal to list as much information as possible on your profile. The more information you are able to include, the better.
ZocDoc offers a number of free services for physicians. You can create a search-optimized profile, offer online scheduling through their site, utilize their online patient intake system, and use their free book online button on your own site. If you sign up for their services, you can also receive bookings from new patients for a one-time fee.
ScoreDoc is an online review site that lets patients search for the highest-rated physicians, medical clinics, and specialists in their particular area. Rather than simply being a place where patients can post reviews, ScoreDoc compiles user reviews from the seven most-used platforms: Google, WebMD, Yelp, HealthGrades, Facebook, RateMDs, and Vitals.
Using this information, they generate a reputation scorecard for each physician to give patients as much information as possible before booking an appointment. They also display how a particular doctor’s reviews compare to others that share the same specialty nearby.
Another online physician search site you’ll want to keep an eye on is Doctor.com. By allowing users to search for doctors based on their specialty, location, and accepted insurance, prospective patients can shop around before booking an appointment.
In order to claim your profile on this site, you’ll need to create a free account.
One of the largest review sites in the world, it’s important to not overlook social media sites like Facebook when monitoring your online reviews. Many consumers turn to Facebook when it comes to offering feedback on a wide variety of businesses and services, and healthcare services are no exception.
Since billions of people around the world have a Facebook account, it’s quick and easy for people to leave reviews here. Physicians can install the Facebook Reviews app and ensure that review features are enabled on their page, allowing patients to leave their two cents.
With 30,000 registered practices and doctors, RealSelf is a large healthcare marketplace where users can connect with physicians and research treatments. Specifically geared toward dermatology, plastic surgery, and minimally invasive treatments, this is a niche site with millions of reviews.
Of course, one concern when managing your practice’s online reputation is whether or not the reviews of your services are legitimate. RealSelf goes the extra mile to confirm that reviewers are actual patients of the doctors they are reviewing. At the same time, they allow for patient anonymity by letting users publish their reviews using a pseudonym.
Users can use the doctor directory at RealSelf to find doctors in a specific location based on specialty or who offer specific treatment types. Patients even have the ability to set up direct appointments and communicate online with doctors through this site.
12. AMA Directory
The American Medical Association maintains a directory with more than 814,000 physicians. With basic professional information on practically every licensed physician in the country, you’ll want to make sure that all of your information on this site is correct and up-to-date.
While there’s a good chance that your practice is already listed in this directory, you’ll want to ensure that your information is correct and current. You might also consider becoming an AMA member to make it so prospective patients can see more than double the information about your practice compared to non-member physicians. As a member, you can list additional information, including a map to your office location, office hours, accepted insurance plans, and much more.
Are you interested in moving away from practicing medicine, but you still want to use your skills and training to create income? Check out our articles about transitioning to a career in pharma, salaries for medical consultants, and real estate investing for doctors.
13. U.S. News Doctor Finder
Another popular site for finding physicians is the directory available through U.S. News and World Report. Each doctor profile offers an overview, patient experience accolades and reviews, location and contact information, and information about the physician’s education and experience.
Users can search for doctors based on location and specialty using the search function. They can also learn more information about specific physicians through their search bar.
Rather than simply using reviews posted on their own site to help users understand the overall patient experience with each physician, U.S. News partners with Fountain Analytics to aggregate patient feedback from hundreds of online sources. They then categorize feedback, extract insights, and calculate a score based on ten essential patient experience categories.
Sharecare is a site that provides users with personalized health-related information, resources, and programs. Users can utilize the site’s health risk assessment tool, known as the RealAge Test, and their AskMD tool, a clinical decision support tool.
Specifically geared to help employees, plan members, and patients optimize their benefits and improve health outcomes, all while keeping their costs down, this is another site you’ll want to keep on your radar while managing your online reputation.
15. Medicare Directory
According to the Federation of American Scientists, an estimated 60 million Americans are enrolled in Medicare. Patients looking for providers that accept Medicare can use this resource to compare hospitals, doctors, nursing homes, and more.
Beyond providing basic information about providers, prospective patients can also find cost estimates and quality ratings while also maintaining a list of their favorite providers.
Why It’s Important For Physicians to Manage Reviews Online
As a doctor, you already have a lot on your plate. The thought of managing online reviews and keeping an eye on your reputation on the internet can feel like a lot, but it’s well worth the trouble.
Here are some of the most important reasons you don’t want to drop the ball on your online presence:
- Patient Feedback: Patients have the opportunity to share their positive and negative experiences online. When you keep an eye on the reviews that are posted, it can help you gain more insight into patient experience and satisfaction.
- Reputation management: Your online reputation is going to have a big impact on your ability to gain new patients. Your credibility can benefit from positive reviews online and help you attract new clients. If you find negative reviews, responding promptly and professionally can show other users that you provide excellent customer service and are concerned with addressing patient concerns.
- Maintaining an online presence: Considering the fact that most people will search online when looking for a new doctor, it’s important to have a strong online presence. If you aren’t actively working to create an online presence for yourself, it likely means that you’re missing out on potential new patients.
- Engagement: Managing your online reviews and reputations gives you the opportunity to engage with current and potential patients directly. You can also demonstrate just how committed you are to patient care by addressing concerns, offering solutions to problems, and thanking patients for their feedback.
- Maintaining accurate information: If you aren’t monitoring the biggest online review sites, there’s a good chance your old address or phone number is listed in a directory out there. Inconsistencies like this can confuse patients who would otherwise be interested in booking an appointment. This can also have an impact on SEO for your own site, as search engines will look to cross-reference business information across directories and sites.
Growing Your Practice Into a 7-Figure Business
Online reputation management is only one piece of the puzzle when it comes to running a successful medical business in the 21st century. Though your medical training prepared you for practicing medicine, one thing it most likely didn’t teach you was how to run a business.
Are you interested in growing your business to 6 and 7 figures while still providing the highest quality patient care? Are you ready to take greater control of both your work and your life?
If you answered yes to both of these questions, you’ll want to learn more about the EntreMD Business School.