It goes without saying that a hospital’s reputation directly affects the facility’s bottom line. With the rise of social media, patients now have the platform to share both positive and negative experiences with doctors and medical facilities, heavily impacting the perception and decision of potential patients.
Given this, hospitals have to step up and be more strategic in maximizing and improving their reputation in order to attract and retain patients. There is a multitude of digital marketing and online reputation management techniques along with medical websites for doctors, that hospitals can apply in order to stay on top of the competition. Below are some tips in order to effectively manage your hospital’s image:
Listen and examine what people are saying about your hospital
A good starting point is finding out where you currently stand. Examine how people perceive your facility by conducting research or a quick survey of all those who interact with the hospital, including community members, vendors, physicians, and employees. This will provide a good picture of your facility’s image that you can use as a basis for any areas of improvement in the future.
Another thing that may be helpful is to scan social media pages and other review sites for public and employee sentiment about your hospital. This way, you can check out how people rate your doctors, services, and other facilities and possibly find valuable information in employee posts on employer review sites like Glassdoor. You can also do a Google search of your hospital to see whether the results are positive, negative, or neutral. After knowing more about your hospital’s reputation, you can begin to categorize what types of issues you are facing and how to address them moving forward.
Prioritize providing a positive patient experience
The main stakeholder of any hospital or healthcare facility is its patients. Generating positive reviews and recommendations from the people you serve can do wonders for your business. Potential patients rely on testimonials from other patients in deciding which hospital to consider for all their healthcare needs so you should maximize this by creating structured feedback systems and using online platforms to share these positive reviews online to make sure they reach your target audience.
Immediately address negative reviews
Negative reviews are inevitable when it comes to hospital services. As they say, you really cannot please everyone and people will want to share their perspective on what areas have to be improved. However, you should not be discouraged by such sentiments because they can actually be opportunities to showcase your expertise and priority for every patient’s concern.
One way to reduce the impact of bad reviews is to immediately and thoughtfully respond to negative comments. Make sure to be reassuring, helpful, and courteous in your replies so that your patients can see how you value their comments. Most people base their judgments on how companies or businesses respond to criticism, so it’s always best to take the high road.
Constantly update your website
As the point of entry for your target audience, you have to ensure that your website fully represents your hospital’s purpose, services, and expertise. Aside from making sure that it contains all the necessary information for your patients, your website also has to be accessible, mobile-friendly, easy to navigate, and comprehensive, displaying useful information that most people are looking for.
If your website has been established a few years back, you should do regular checkups and analysis to keep it updated and to ensure that it remains to provide an overall good experience to your customers.
Build a strong social media presence
Social media channels are essential to a hospital’s success and reputation management. With almost everyone engaged on social media, it is certainly a good platform to keep patients engaged and updated about your hospital’s services, news, and relevant developments. It’s also a good venue to build your expertise by regularly sharing educational content in the form of articles, photos, videos, and other interactive materials that are shareable and useful to your patients.
Aside from social media being a cost-efficient means to promote your hospital’s “brand story,” it also allows you to have two-way communication with your patients and their families. Through your social media pages, you can build a strong community of supporters and ambassadors among your patients. You can also take advantage of special occasions in the medical field such as National Nurses Day, Breast Cancer Awareness Month, or World Alzheimer’s Day, to reinforce your expertise and to promote your medical staff.
Prioritize Highlighting your Staff
Putting the spotlight on your hardworking and credible staff can help humanize your organization and build a stronger connection between your hospital and your patients. Highlighting physician profiles should be part of any hospital’s reputation-building efforts as this allows you to promote the expertise and credibility of your internal partners.
Aside from your doctors, you can also highlight your administrative staff, technicians, and other important team members in order to assure your patients that they should expect a holistic positive experience by choosing your hospital.
One way to do this is by creating content that specifically talks about your team of doctors, highlighting their specialization, and discussing relevant topics about their field that may benefit all kinds of patients. In one of your videos, you can have an oncologist discuss the steps of chemotherapy and have it posted on your website or social media pages.
Engage with the online healthcare community
Aside from constantly engaging with your patients, you can also explore engaging with relevant health care communities to position your hospital as a thought leader in the field. Currently, there are different social media pages and groups that talk about specific medical topics, sharing relevant information and recommendations that may empower them to make better health care decisions. You can penetrate these groups and actively participate in conversations to help cement your facility’s reputation as a healthcare authority, not to promote your services.
Continue to monitor your hospital’s online reputation
Managing your hospital’s reputation is a continuous process. It takes proactiveness and agility in order to effectively maximize modern techniques in reputation management. Once you have a strategic plan in place, make sure you continue monitoring online sentiments, tracking reviews, and looking for opportunities to strengthen your image and reputation among your facility’s target audience and potential patients.