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Study Shows More Doctors are Monitoring their Online Reviews and Reputation

Reputation management as a means of expanding medical practices is becoming a common practice among all doctors in the United States and abroad. There are many websites dedicated to capturing a variety of data points that rate and qualify healthcare professionals, as well as provide potential patients with a wealth of information that equips them in the process of identifying and selecting a general doctor or specialist when the need arises.

The number of websites available to patients is endless, but some tend to rank higher than others, both in popularity and in the quantitative and qualitative nature of the information made available to help potential patients decide among several health professionals in their area. Among the more popular medical and healthcare review sites we have Dr. Oogle, Healthgrades.com, Healthtap, Realself, WellnessMD and Vitals.com.

Vitals is a very strong industry leader when it comes to review aggregation for health professionals. It offers medical practitioners and patients unique characteristics worthy of noting, particularly for doctors seeking cost-free channels to expand the marketing efforts of their practice.

Vitals is free to healthcare professionals and free to patients. In 2011, Vitals.com was named best health-reviews website by Kiplinger magazine. By 2012, the website reported Web traffic of over 120 million annual visitors. With over 5 million reviews and ratings, Vitals.com has great potential as a lead generator for doctors and practices hoping to attract more patients.

Unique to Vitals.com is the ability to conduct a search based on a number of metrics not normally available at other health and doctor review sites. Potential patients and family members can search by condition, specialty, star rating, and accepted commercial health insurance.

Providing shoppers with the ability to screen doctors based on insurance acceptance serves a dual purpose benefiting both the potential patient and the medical practitioner. With over 90 percent of Americans covered by health insurance, providing a tool that lets them filter out practitioners is a great asset in the process of selecting a new doctor or specialist.

Insurance Listing Screens Out Patients That May Have Issues Paying Out-of-Network

One of the most common grievances reported by small medical practices relates to barriers and delays doctors encounter when it comes to billing out-of-network or no-insurance patients. By providing shoppers the ability to confirm the type of coverage accepted by each medical practitioner, both the patient and the doctor have additional empowerment and increased likelihood to obtain a payment or reimbursement in a timely manner.

Insurance Listing Helps Point High-Quality Patients with More Flexible Insurance Plans to Your Practice

Patients are more likely to contact a medical practice if they have a level of comfort associated with the financial aspects of their visit. Negotiated pricing between providers and insurance companies ensures the out-of-pocket for patients is not overwhelming on their budget, and speeds up the claim process and payment from network insurance providers.

Laser-Focused Searches

Vitals’ search feature allows potential patients to screen doctors who take their specific insurance, automatically parsing out those who don’t. This feature reduces patient frustration or false hopes associated with finding a doctor who meets all their requirements and qualifications but does not take their insurance.

Vitals Goes Beyond Insurance

Vitals provides superior and easy-to-search usability to patients looking for a qualified doctor or specialist. The website measures eight data points with star ratings, and allows patients to provide free text doctor reviews that equip shoppers to make better decisions about potential providers.  The tab-style profile with four main categories including credentials, location, reviews, and summary allows potential shoppers to better filter the data provided and go directly to what matters most to them.

Medical reputation management is a core element of a healthy marketing strategy and will without doubt continue to grow in relevance and credibility as the web engagement of potential patients continues to increase. Failure to manage online branding and reputation can significantly and negatively affect the growth and sustainability of any medical practice regardless of size.
While this website does offer several advertising avenues for physicians, managing even a basic profile can be of great advantage in acquiring new patients and enhancing your Web presence through well-managed online reputation. If you have not yet done so, then spend a few minutes becoming familiar with this health-reviews website, and add it to your overall reviews and reputation management strategy.

Kevin Kent

Kevin is the Director of Finance and Operations at ReviewTrackers. Every day he finds creative ways to solve business owners' problems and identifies key issues to help them achieve top results.

Discussion

  1. Karen Garcia

    A truly great site for anyone looking for a doctor. With all the filters it contains, you can easily find a doctor near your location, with the specialty you are looking for. Beside that now you can run a search to see which one is more affordable and read the reviews about their work. Vitals is an excellent search and review platform.

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