Medical Practice Survival in Social Media

Posted on the 22 August 2012 by Ironcomet @Ironcomet

I talk to doctors daily and ask them what their biggest concern is about the survival of their independent practices.  Most reveal that administrative costs, insurance and reimbursement issues continue to be the largest burdens in the ever changing healthcare climate.  Another overlooked problem relates to social media; how to use it and how to cope with negative comments from reviews on the internet.

With the explosion of Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter and others, doctors must keep pace with a new form of media that will continue to dominate in the coming years.  Social media can get your message out to thousands of people quicker and more efficiently than traditional methods.  There are thousands of practices utilizing this strategy to bring in new patients and connect with their current ones.  We recommend having someone else do this for the practice.  Then there are online reviews from sites like, healthgrades and  These sites are popular because they have a place for comments and some of them are negative.

As we all know, sometimes patients don’t get exactly what they want or in the time they want it.  Whether it is a comment on long waits for the doctor or demeaning comments about staff, these can carry a stigma that something is wrong with the particular provider.  It does, however, provide an opening to have other patients make positive comments to combat this.  By addressing negative reviews, you are not trying to change that person’s opinion, but making sure the remark is not the only one on the site and stacking the odds in your favor.

A good relationship with your patient is the best way to insure positive public relations with the community.  And in these fast paced times, it is even more important to make sure the patient has all of his concerns addressed and can leave the office knowing that your practice has their best interests at heart


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