NEW FROM THE OMS GUARDIAN
WEB REPUTATION: SETTING A PATIENT'S EXPECTATIONS
Linda Hay, JD and Anne Oldenburg, JD
As the use of the internet continues to pervade every aspect of our lives, its positive and negative
impact becomes more defined. Although practitioners and practice owners can gain great
benefit from the use of websites, social media and review sites, there can be potential for risk
or harm. That harm can occur swiftly, be widespread, and have lingering effects. An ongoing
awareness of a practice or practitioner’s web presence, good or bad, is essential to good risk
Web presence, for purposes of this article, includes three main forms: websites which
affirmatively display the practice and practitioner by providing controlled content; social media
sites which provide some controlled content, but invite some uncontrolled content; and review or
ratings sites which invite uncontrolled and purportedly objective content. All of these combined
create a web presence that both patients and colleagues can typically access. In this context, the
goal of good risk management is to manage your website presence to emphasize the positive,
downplay the negative, and set reasonable patient expectations.
The first step is to regularly monitor your own web presence. Perform regular searches through
different search engines on your practice and your practice name to see what the search reveals.
Does your own website appear first? Is the information outdated? Does a poor review or rating
appear prominently? In addition, check listings on various sites where your practice or license is
registered, such as your state disciplinary site or your state corporate registration site, to ensure
that information is accurate and updated.
Read More >>