6 Reasons why Healthcare Institutions needs Reputation Management

Healthcare consumerism isn’t what it used to be earlier because patient experience has now become the most decisive factor in the healthcare industry. Before a healthcare provider depended on word of mouth to build their reputation as their patients recommended them to friends and family. It took time to build a reputation and to ruin it. Today, any customer with an internet connection may leave an online review or vent about less than a desirable experience on social media. Too many negative ratings and reviews may put a dent to the online reputation of a healthcare provider.

What should medical professionals do? Look for ways to maintain a positive reputation. Whether they are part of a large healthcare organization or a small private clinic, a tarnished record wouldn’t bring in any new business. Proactive Healthcare Reputation Management can lead to success!

Below we look into the reasons of why healthcare institutions need reputation management:

1. Reviews have taken over social media

According to the Washington Post, reputation management is a challenging task. This is because monitoring comments and knowing when to respond, or when not to are all complicated.

Are you a part of the healthcare field?

Do you run a healthcare institution and worry about what the digital world thinks about you?

Then try finding out by visiting these social media giants:

  • Yelpwas originally created to rate restaurants, but this crowd-sourced platform can now be counted upon by healthcare providers and facilities
  • HealthGrades can be considered the biggest information source about doctors and hospitals since it wasfounded in 1998
  • ZocDoc is a comprehensive platform where online scheduling and common knowledge about medical practices and facilities are available
  • Vitals is great if you are looking to compare the pricing, quality, and the access that different health plans and providers offer

A negative comment may not launch a thousand ships today, but it is something that marketing executives and administrators should monitor. Thus, you need a professional with social media experience.


2.  Negative reviews can cut down your new customer base

An article from Harvard Business Review reported that the majority of online ratings were based on extreme views. For instance, when a patient leaves a practice feeling satisfied, they are more likely to invest their time and leave a review. Similarly, an inconvenienced patient would be more willing to pen down a diatribe as well.

How does that affect you? Your potential new customer base can be reduced by 70% after just 4-5 negative reviews! Another Washington Post article mentions that emotions have a big role to play in consumer’s decisions.

What’s more is as a physician, you might be doing everything right. Even then, you keep discovering that more of your patients don’t come back for a second visit. What could be the reason for all these complaints? Things such as long wait times, less than clean environments, and ill-mannered receptionists might be ruining a patient’s visit.

Reputation management can help you unearth the reasons behind negative reviews and fleeing patients!

3. Patients have certain assumptions about hospitals

Preconceptions that are based on a hospital’s business model can also be why it has a less than stellar reputation. PwC, a consulting firm, ran a survey that determined a hospital’s reputation based on its financial health. Financially unstable medical institutions were viewed negatively by the patients. They thought they would receive subpar medical care in such a place. Thus, large, well equipped hospitals and privately run hospitals scored higher than religious or municipal facilities in Germany. In the United States, nonprofit hospitals were rated higher than the government-affiliated and for-profit ones. Somebody has to help you set the record straight!

4. Full transparency can open the way to positive reviews

Any content that is part of your hospital’s website needs to be completely transparent. An experienced reputation managing firm can set up the perfect digital journey for your patients and visitors. They will guide you on the type of content you should be publishing (Hint: A healthy helping of positive reviews with a smattering of negative ratings is the way to go!) The content you put up should be the trust-building type, which is where the reputation management experts come in.

5. Build reputational capital

Reputation management isn’t a one-day job. It requires constant efforts that are made both internally and externally to build reputational capital. A healthcare organization should create platforms where their consumers can come together, share, and read about positive experiences. In order to do so, a hospital has to discover more about the community they and their patients are a part of. Reputation managers can determine the values of the patients and then highlight how those values are covered by the hospital.

Moreover, reputation management isn’t necessary just to attract and retain clients. Reputational capital is an important factor that attracts millennial generation employees to the workplace. Thus, by paying attention to it, a hospital can also improve its employee retention rate.


6. Return on engagement needs to happen before ROI can happen

This study on healthcare organizations showed that if patients rated their experience at a hospital superior, it had a 50 percent higher net margin! These values were in comparison with those hospitals that patients had rated average. Thus, if a hospital creates an atmosphere that focuses on value based care, they will retain more patients. And of course, patient retention is directly proportional to the revenue stream.

But does reputational capital work well with new patient acquisitions just as it does with retention? It does! When potential customers discover the positive reviews and ratings left by a hospital’s previous patients, they are more likely to agree to receive care there.

The healthcare landscape is dealing with a previously unprecedented level of disruption. It continues to evolve as a response to new regulations and the increasing importance of patient experience. Successful healthcare organizations will realize how important a trusted reputation managing partner can be for them.