Physicians: Its time to claim your online profiles

Have you searched for your name online lately? Do you know what information is out there and what people are saying? It’s time to take control of your online reputation and help your website’s presence.

Physician directories, quality review websites and user-generated content websites are often the first organic search results to appear when you go online to search for a physician. At times, physician-rating websites (directories) contain inaccurate profile information and, perhaps, biased feedback. You may feel these websites are out to get you.

On the contrary, seize the opportunity these websites provide and proactively manage your online reputation, enhance your profile listing and drive more traffic to your website. These sources can also provide relevant inbound links to your website – an important factor when it comes to search engine optimization (SEO). Bottom line it can mean more patient referrals.

Take control. Utilize the profile information found on these websites to your advantage.

Who are these websites and how can you change your profile? Let’s take a look.

HealthGrades

HealthGrades is a health-care ratings company, providing online ratings and profile information for hospitals, nursing homes and physicians to consumers, corporations, health plans and hospitals. Using healthgrades.com users can rate physicians they have seen. This data is compiled and presented along with a physicians profile information.

Using your National Provider Identifier (NPI) and other basic information, you can register through the Physicians Portal. Once registered and logged in, you can not only update your profile information, including your website address, but also access customized reports about your profile activity including data on patient satisfaction.

Vitals

Vitals is a free physician directory that offers peer reviews from other physicians, a physician profile, and consumer reviews.

Once registered with Vitals, you can add and manage the information that patients and others see. You can also take a look at what consumers are saying about you as well as respond to and manage that feedback.

The registration process collects some basic information including your full name, address and contact information. It also will ask you for your date of birth, state of license and license number. According to their website, Vitals verifies all physician registration through confirmation letters which are mailed to the primary address associated with your Vitals profile. This confirms your account setup and associated information.

Once registered, there are options to add a photo, your website address, credentials, insurances accepted, awards, office information and more.

UCompareHealthCare

Part of About, Inc., a New York Times Company, UCompareHealthCare.com allows consumers to to measure the quality of health-care services. Measures of quality, location, credentials, past performance, and general capability collected are compared to data available from federal, state government agencies as well as multiple third-party sources.

They do offer a free basic profile listing or you can opt for a paid upgrade to include additional information such as adding your bio, credentials, virtual office tour, directions, contact information, and online scheduling.

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Physician Compare

In December 2010, CMS added a new Physician Compare feature to their Healthcare Provider Directory.  While the information provided is relatively limited, CMS plans to expand the data provided. Currently the information on the website includes provider contact and office information, specialty, credentials, languages spoken and gender.

In addition, Physician Compare also shows consumers whether the practice reported certain data to CMS through the Physician Quality Reporting System, a voluntary reporting program on quality measures related to services furnished to Medicare beneficiaries.

The physicians listed in this directory are currently enrolled in Medicare and are added to this directory the month after the PECOS Extract is updated. If the information is incorrect or has changed, visit http://www.medicare.gov/find-a-doctor/staticpages/note/overview.aspx to follow the recommended action.

Bottom line – these websites are here to stay. You, and your website, stand to benefit by contributing to the information that’s out on the web about you.

Category: Misc.

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24 Responses to Physicians: Its time to claim your online profiles

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  2. Karin Cansler says:

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  6. Driedric says:

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  10. Strahan says:

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    • Thanks. We’ve been in the medical industry a long time and we have lots of statistics to pull from. Focusing on one industry and doing it well is most certainly preferable than trying to all industries moderately well.