About the author:

Howard J. Luks, MD

Howard J. Luks, MD

A Board Certified Orthopedic Surgeon in Hawthorne, NY. Dr. Howard Luks specializes in the treatment of the shoulder, knee, elbow, and ankle. He has a very "social" patient centric approach and believes that the more you understand about your issue, the more informed your decisions will be. Ultimately your treatments and his recommendations will be based on proper communications, proper understanding, and shared decision-making principles – all geared to improve your quality of life.

23 comments on “How to Prepare For and Execute An Online Presence In Healthcare

  • Great overview Howard! And the 41st patient method is a gem — I recommended that to a new neurosurgery practice we are helping and they loved it.

  • Excellent article, Howard! You do a great job of outlining ‘why’ and ‘how’ individual physicians should establish a digital presence. You’ve clearly articulated that the use of social media in healthcare is a complex topic and that the implementation will differ from physician to physician, practice to practice, depending on their objectives.

    I, as well, like the 41st patient idea. As one of the most common hurdles is “I don’t know what to write.” or “I don’t have time to write.”, the 41st patient idea is an easy solution to the content component.

    Well done!

  • Hi Howard,

    As always, excellent post. Great tactic for getting over the energy of activation – really like the 41st patient idea.

    As you know, all of the obstacles that physicians list for NOT engaging their patient communities in the digital world – fears of HIPAA violation; no time; “social media is just for teens”; and (my favorite), “I don’t need a brand” – can be overcome.

    In my opinion, we physicians have an obligation to engage our patients where they ‘live’. The majority of them clearly live in the digital world. It is time that we physicians all enter that world, and use the many tools there to become better-connected with our patient- (and referring physician-) communities.

    To become better patient advocates. To continue the patient-physician connection beyond the exit door to our clinic. To provide a counter-balance for all the mis-information and garbage that our patients find online.

    We have an obligation to provide our patient communities with accurate, useful information. Your “41st patient” suggestion is a good start. But only a start. Let’s lead the way! All physicians should have a presence in the digital world, for the benefit of our patients.

    Thanks for listening,

  • Excellent article! I will be passing this along. I really like how you stated in your conclusion that social media is not a passing fad and that you need to be in control of your message. I bring this up with every prospective client when I first meet them and even current clients without a proper presence. I agree this “control” is so important because if you do not provide a venue for interraction and feedback, then patients will go elsewhere to submit their thoughts where you may not be able to interract if you so desire or even respond to a concern if necessary and therefore lose that control, potentially allowing your reputation to be compromised, sometimes unwittingly.

  • Great article, Howard. I agree with your point that reputation management is an important part of a doctor’s social media strategy. Even if she chooses not to be an active blogger or have a Twitter stream, a doctor should stay aware of what results come up when someone searches her name in a major search engine. Building a strong LinkedIn profile is something doctors can do that takes comparatively little time and that will help establish an online presence. I’ve written more on the topic on a post at http://tinyurl.com/cjxlo3p, where I also discuss your assertion that, more and more, doctors have a responsibility to help their patients find trustworthy health information online. Thanks again for your leadership in the field.

  • Great post! You covered all the points very well.

    As a content strategist I would like to add:
    A content plan that is focused (and uses long tail embedded keywords in blogs/posts), consistent will actually drive readership because it respects the time and attention of the user. A clear and focused post will let the reader know in that 5-10 second window of opportunity whether or not you have what they are looking for.

    Never forget that social media is a conversation. As such, formal language can be a turn off. Better instead (imho) to find a style of writing and speaking that is aligned with your natural personality.

    Again, well said and thanks for putting the time into the research!

  • Excellent article on how social media can impact your business. As a Nurse Case Manager I often go online and read the comments about the Physicians. Recently I decided to look up one of my favorite Doctors and he only had two poor reviews.

    I was shocked because he is an excellent Doctor. I notified his office, because they obviously needed some reputation management. They hadn’t seen the reviews and they had been up for over 6 months. I wonder how much business that cost him?

    • Thanks Patty…
      It is impossible to please everyone. Someone who is having a bad day and is in your office with a smartphone can quickly post something to a physician grading service etc….

      The whole concept of rep mgmt — assuming there are only one of two poor reviews is to produce content, establish a digital presence, and help push those review down in google. IF you have more than a few bad reviews… no matter how good or active you are in social or digital media, you need to take a deep dive into your office first. Then emerge with a well established plan, and execute it. Your reputation starts at the front desk and doesn’t begin and end with your interaction with the physician alone. It is a complex situation with relatively simple solutions.

      Thanks for stopping by…

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