Online rating and review sites, aimed at the medical profession, are all the rage—but according to industry experts, including ReputationChanger.com, these sites can prove ruinous to medical practices.
Online PR News – 17-July-2012 –Most patients would be hesitant to rebuke their physician, face to face. Telling them off anonymously, via an online review site, is another matter entirely. The medical profession has recently found itself beset by a growing number of rating and review sites, which enable patients to sound off on the quality of medical care they have received, cloaked in the privacy that the Internet allows. According to members of the medical community and the reputation management industry alike, these medical review sites can ultimately have big consequences for medical practices—and in many cases, those consequences are utterly devastating. That is why more and more members of the medical profession are seeking the services of firms like ReputationChanger.com.
In fact, the medical industry's new report on these review sites claims that while some online reviews are constructive and others are merely irritating, "doctors would be remiss to ignore them." The report goes on to note that a doctor's online reputation is every bit as vital as his or her reputation within the community. If the doctor's online reputation takes a severe downward turn, it can lead to a drop off in patients, and ultimately cause financial woes for the practice itself.
Cliff Stein, the Chief Executive Officer for Reputation Changer, has responded to the report with a press statement. "We are getting more and more clients who are either doctors or the managers of medical practices," Stein comments. "Sometimes they are surgeons, eye doctors, dentists, you name it—the point is, they have been badly burned by these online review sites, and their practices are suffering."
The bad news, according to Stein, is that nothing can be done to stop consumers or patients from posting online reviews—good or bad. Stein also says that legal action is seldom effective. "Online review sites are protected from defamation suits, so there is simply no way that a doctor is going to get anywhere suing the site itself," he observes. "A doctor can try to sue the actual reviewer, and some doctors have, indeed, done so. This is very seldom effective, due to the prickly nature of free-speech lawsuits, and besides, it can be very expensive and very time-consuming."
Time is a luxury that the victims of online defamation do not have, though. "The longer these negative reviews are online, the more damage they can do, and the more patients will turn to other physicians," confirms Stein. The answer, for many medical practices, has been to enlist a reputation management service, such as ReputationChanger.com.
"We have worked with many doctors and medical professionals, and we are passionate for helping them defend their good name and combat these insidious online reviews," Stein offers. In addition to doctors, his company works with Fortune 500 brands, online marketers, small business owners, and even elected officials. More and more, Stein says, doctors are making up a large percentage of ReputationChanger.com's clientele.
Stein notes that the company cannot remove bad reviews once they have been posted to the Internet, but it can suppress these reviews, effectively turning them into non-issues. "If a review only shows up on the fourth page of online search results, then very few people will ever see it, and it becomes virtually non-existent," confirms Stein. "That's the tactic we use at ReputationChanger.com. We seek to flood search engines with so much positive press about the doctor or the medical practice, the negative reviews get pushed so far back that they cease to be problematic."
ReputationChanger.com was founded in 2009 by a team of seasoned SEO, online marketing, and business professionals, united by their passion for helping companies and individuals take control of their online image. Since then, the firm has come to be known as one of the most influential and innovative forces in the reputation management industry. ReputationChanger.com is known for its inventive use of the latest technology, as well as its savvy implementation of the most effective content development and SEO strategies. The company works around the clock to provide exhaustive reputation defense strategies to its clients, which have included a variety of small and large businesses, as well as private citizens and public officials.