Oncology Reputation Management: Building Trust Online for Your Practice

POSTED ON: Apr 09, 2024

Oncology Reputation Management: Building Trust Online for Your Practice Lauren Parr

Oncology Reputation Management: Building Trust Online for Your Practice

According to the Global Cancer Observatory (GLOBOCAN) report by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), there were around 19.3 million new cancer cases and 10 million cancer-related deaths worldwide in 2020. The IARC predicts a 47% increase in new cancer cases globally from 2020 to 2040.

This rise in cancer incidence is anticipated to drive the demand for oncology diagnostics and treatment, fueling the growth of the global oncology market from US$203.42 billion in 2022 to US$470.61 billion by 2032 at a CAGR of 8.8% during the forecast period.

In this digital era, patients facing cancer diagnosis rely on online reviews and information to guide their decision-making when choosing an oncology practice. With the ease of access to information on the internet, patients can research and compare different practices, read about the experiences of other patients, and make informed choices about their care.

As a result, oncology practices must prioritize their online presence and reputation to attract and retain patients in this competitive landscape.

This blog discusses effective reputation management strategies for oncology practices, which can help them manage their credibility and trust with patients, driving patient acquisition and retention.

1. The Importance of Online Reputation Management for Oncology Practices

With patients increasingly running after search engines to research oncology practices and their providers’ reputation, expertise, and experience, it has never been more crucial for oncologists to monitor and protect their online reputation proactively. A robust online presence can help attract new patients, build trust with current patients, and differentiate a practice from competitors.

Here is why reputation management for oncologists is a game changer:

  • The Impact of Online Reviews on Patients’ Decision

According to RepuGen Patient Review Survey 2024, 73% of patients consider online reviews before choosing a healthcare provider.

With reviews providing valuable insights into the quality of care, patient experience, and overall satisfaction, patients refer to them to make informed decisions about their healthcare choices.

  • Positive Online Reputation Helps Build Trust and Patient Loyalty

According to Customer Experience Trends in Healthcare, 60% of respondents have chosen one provider over another based on a positive online reputation.

A strong online reputation attracts new patients and encourages repeat visits and referrals, ultimately leading to increased trust and patient loyalty.

  • A Strong Online Presence Attracts New Patients

According to Customer Experience Trends in Healthcare, 63% of respondents are more likely to choose one provider over another based on their online presence.
A strong online presence helps build a positive image that sets oncologists apart from their competitors, driving more patients to the practice.

2. Building a Positive Online Presence

Whether you are a new oncologist looking to network and advance your profession and practice or an established oncologist aiming to attract more patients and stand out in a crowded marketplace, an impactful online presence can make all the difference. A strong online presence helps create an authentic and consistent image across all your online platforms, including social media.

Here is how you can build a positive online presence:

A. Claim and Optimize Online Profiles

To establish a strong online presence and attract new patients, oncologists should claim and update profiles on key platforms like Google My Business, Healthgrades, Zocdoc, and WebMD. This ensures accurate and up-to-date information reaches potential patients searching online, allows for convenient appointment booking, and demonstrates professionalism.

RepuGen Patient Review Survey 2024 highlights the importance of prioritizing Google Reviews (81.96% awareness, 75.37% usage) while maintaining visibility on WebMD (57.98% awareness, 48.75% usage) and Healthgrades (29.61% awareness, 25.89% usage). Overall, a comprehensive online presence management strategy strengthens patient trust and empowers informed decision-making.

B. Create a User-Friendly Website

A user-friendly website is crucial for giving patients easy access to important information. A well-designed website serves as the central hub for patient information, making it essential to ensure that it offers a seamless and intuitive user experience.

According to MD Connect Research, health advocacy websites provide consumers valuable information and resources to advocate for their health and well-being. 

However, despite being relatively reputable (with a credibility rating of 59%), these websites are underutilized by consumers (only 16% of individuals regularly visit them) due to the difficulty of navigating them (29% of users find them challenging to use).

Here is what your oncology website must look and sound like:

  • Ensure Ease of Access

Straightforward navigation, informative content, and easy appointment scheduling are key elements to consider when creating a user-friendly website. Patients can easily find the information they need by logically organizing content and incorporating user-friendly features such as dropdown menus and quick links.

Informative content presented clearly and concisely helps patients better understand their healthcare options and make informed decisions. Additionally, implementing an easy appointment scheduling system allows patients to conveniently book appointments online, improving overall patient satisfaction and streamlining the booking process.

  • Add Patient Testimonials and Success Stories

Including patient testimonials and success stories on your website is an excellent way to showcase the positive experiences of past patients and build trust with potential patients. According to the Medill Spiegel Research Center, displaying consumer-generated evaluations on your website can increase conversions by 270%.

This statement cannot be overstated, as the same research reveals that 95% of online users rely on reviews to make purchasing decisions. So, you are free to gather and share patient testimonials on your site. However, you must only ensure HIPAA compliance to protect their sensitive information.

3. Encouraging Positive Reviews

Encouraging positive reviews can significantly impact the success of your practice. Not only do positive reviews showcase your credibility and reputation, but they also increase patient trust and drive more sales.

Effective ways to encourage positive reviews are:

  • Streamline the Review Process

Gathering patient reviews is crucial for oncologists to learn patient experience and improve their services. However, many patients find it cumbersome to leave reviews after appointments. You can streamline this process with online forums or email prompts.

Paubox discovered that healthcare email open rates can increase up to 54.76%. By sending patients automated emails after their appointments, you can increase the likelihood of them leaving reviews.

  • Provide Excellent Patient Care and Communication

A study reveals that positive patient feedback can lead to positive changes in healthcare practices, indicating that patients are satisfied with their care.
By providing compassionate and efficient care, oncologists can create a trusting relationship with their patients, improving health outcomes and overall patient satisfaction. If the patients are happy, they will not hesitate to leave positive reviews.

  • Thank Patients for Positive Reviews

According to a Brightlocal survey, 88% of consumers are likely to use a business that replies to all its reviews, highlighting the importance of engaging with customers. When patients take the time to leave positive reviews, it shows that they are satisfied with the service they received.

Oncologists must thank patients for their kind words and highlight the strengths mentioned in their reviews as a token of gratitude. This way, they can show appreciation for the feedback while showcasing their strengths to potential patients.

  • Address Negative Reviews Professionally

Addressing negative reviews professionally is essential to maintaining a positive online reputation for oncologists. When responding to negative reviews, acknowledge the concerns raised by the reviewer and offer solutions to address their issues.

However, these interactions should be handled offline to ensure patient confidentiality and privacy. By reaching out to the reviewer offline, you can address their concerns more personalized and privately while taking the opportunity to resolve any issues and potentially turn a negative experience into a positive one.

4. Proactive Engagement and Content Creation

Proactive engagement involves actively seeking out opportunities to share oncology-related content through various channels, such as social media, email campaigns, and webinars.

By consistently providing high-quality, informative content, oncology practices can establish themselves as trusted sources of information and build relationships with their prospects. This also helps to increase their brand awareness.

Here is how you increase patient engagement and trust through content:

  • Build Trust Through Social Media

According to a study, 57% of individuals mentioned that the social media activity of a hospital would significantly impact their decision on where to seek services. In comparison, 81% of respondents viewed a robust social media presence as a sign that a hospital provides advanced treatments.

Moreover, 12.5% of healthcare organizations surveyed had effectively drawn in new patients through social media. These statistics highlight the importance of oncologists actively engaging with social media.

Using platforms like Facebook and Twitter to share educational content about cancer. Patients can benefit from access to reliable, up-to-date information on preventive measures, treatment modalities, and survivor stories, empowering them to make informed decisions about their health.

Furthermore, engaging with patients through comments and questions allows for a more personalized and interactive approach to healthcare communication, fostering a sense of support among individuals diagnosed with cancer.

  • Establish Expertise With Blog Posts and Articles

Regularly publishing informative blog posts on their website and social media channels can help oncologists easily connect with patients while educating them about the various topics of oncology.

By focusing on topics relevant to patients, such as new cancer treatments, managing side effects, and coping strategies, oncologists can empower their patients to make informed decisions while remaining a valuable resource for patients seeking information and support.

  • Utilize Patient Testimonials and Videos

Sharing patient success stories and testimonials (ensuring patients’ consent and HIPAA compliance) can be a powerful way to showcase the positive impact of your oncology practice. Consider incorporating video testimonials to add a personal touch and make the stories more compelling.

Seeing actual patients share their experiences can connect on a deeper level with potential patients and provide a genuine insight into the quality of care. Using patient testimonials thoughtfully and responsibly can create a valuable tool for building credibility and promoting your practice meaningfully.

5. Partner With RepuGen for Comprehensive Reputation Management

RepuGen is a oncology reputation management platform that gathers and organizes patient reviews and feedback. This tool assists oncologists in improving their online visibility and establishing credibility with their desired patient demographic.

The platform can interpret the emotional context of patient reviews through sentiment analysis. This allows oncologists to assess patient satisfaction levels and pinpoint areas requiring enhancement.

With automated surveys and patient questionnaires, RepuGen assists oncologists in managing patient feedback, improving patient satisfaction, and enhancing their online presence. By partnering with RepuGen, oncologists have witnessed substantial practice growth through improved patient satisfaction and stellar online reviews.

Here are the success stories of two of our oncology clients:

Final Thoughts

Maintaining a positive online reputation is crucial for oncology practices looking to succeed. By implementing strategies such as building a positive online presence, encouraging positive reviews, and increasing patient engagement with content, you can build trust with your patients, attract prospects, and maintain a positive brand image.

Partnering with a reputable reputation management platform like RepuGen can significantly benefit your oncology practice. RepuGen offers a variety of tools and services to help oncology practices improve their online reputation, including automated review generation, monitoring, and response services.

Remember, online reputation management is not a one-time charm but an ongoing process that requires consistent effort and attention. So, partner with RepuGen to stay proactive in managing your online reputation while ensuring that prospects perceive your oncology practice in a positive light.

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