One of physicians' most common objections to participating in social media is the amount of time it may require, on top of their already overburdened schedules. But having an online presence doesn't have to be all-consuming to have a positive impact on your practice. Consider the following time-saving tips provided by social media expert Kevin Pho, M.D., in the Spring 2015 edition of Physician Family Magazine.
- Set it and forget it. Even if you do nothing else, set up a professional profile on sites such as LinkedIn or Doximity, recommended Pho. It takes just a few hours to create these digital translations of a physician's resume, and that act alone can help boost the physician's ranking on Google searches and therefore patients' first impressions of the doctor's web presence.
- Enlist help. It can be time-consuming to keep up with the latest trends in social media, but you can easily delegate the task to your employees or family members. Not only can these support people learn and introduce the doctor to new social media platforms, but they can also monitor doctors' online presences and promptly alert them to potential problems.
- Skip the lawsuit. Seventy-six percent of millennials use online patient reviews to select a physician, according to a recent State of the Connect Patient report by Salesforce. It's understandable, then, that physicians would want to defend themselves against negative or false remarks made online. Suing patients for defamation, however, is not only an expensive and costly tactic, but it can also backfire by drawing more attention to the criticism the doctor was trying to combat. A better approach, according to experts, is to speak offline with the patient and attempt to resolve the problem.