Digital natives, the millennials make heavy use of digital media for their needs, including healthcare. The pace has only increased with lockdowns forcing people indoors, leading even the older patients, typically dealing with chronic diseases, to turn to the internet to meet basic needs.
Industries across the board are going digital and the health care providers are no exceptions. The market offers a large number of services and medical apps for doctors, especially with the uptick in telemedicine caused by the pandemic. The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare showed their support earlier this year when they released the Telemedicine Practice Guidelines.
Indians form 23% of the global population to adopt telemedicine and a further 41% say they would like to try it. Traditionally, medical practices build reputation by word of mouth. But this new digital-first landscape means that patients are likely to browse online profiles to find the right doctor. Social media reputation management for doctors is fast becoming an imperative to keep up with the connected patient.
Here are some tips to establish a digital presence that will get your online practice going:
- Check the Google listing for your practice. Is your phone number listed correctly on Google? Does the listing show the correct address and hours? Starting with the basics is always a good idea and your Google listing is a great place to start. Claim your business and make sure the information reflected is up to date.
- Subscribe to a doctor discovery service. There are multiple convenience-led medical apps for physicians, such as Practo, Lybrate and Amion. In addition to offering features like online doctor appointment booking, physician-on-call scheduling and appointment scheduling, they are very popular among consumers for finding doctors and exploring reviews. Establishing a well-respected presence on such a platform can be a formidable tool for online reputation management.
- Hire an agency. If you don’t feel up to going the Do It Yourself way to online reputation management, the market offers multiple online reputation and digital marketing services at an affordable cost. Their offerings include everything from creating interesting posts for your social media to designing a feature-rich website.
- Establish your presence on social media. Digital media is useful not just for staying connected to your peer and social network, they can also serve as valuable marketing and medical reputation management applications for doctors. Establish a page for your practice on popular platforms like Facebook or LinkedIn and encourage your patients to stay connected. Share and create content often and use photos for a better response—just not graphic ones! Better yet, post short videos about your practice.
- Use WhatsApp to reach out to your patients. WhatsApp is the go to communication tool for over 340 million Indians. With banking, education and even the government sector turning to WhatsApp, it also makes a very useful patient engagement tool. Used wisely, it is an easy way to create top of the mind recall among patients and establish your practice as a leader in its field.
In the bigger picture, the digital health transformation is a positive step for patients and doctors in India. Concierge tools that handle online scheduling can help reduce admin burdens for clinics, video-calling platforms can solve for social distancing challenges between doctor and patient, e-pharmacies can ease access to medicines, and clinical decision support tools like 5MintueConsult can help doctors overcome issues like differential diagnosis. It can help ease operational stress for medical professionals and improve care delivery for patients.
- Check the Google listing for your practice.
- Subscribe to a doctor discovery service.
- Hire an agency if you don’t feel up to going the DIY way.
- Establish your presence on social media.
- Use WhatsApp to reach out to your patients.