In the tech sector, it’s common to hear that social media sites like Facebook, YouTube and Twitter are “connecting humans together”, Jason Borody says that there’s no doubt that such services have their uses, but we should be aware of their side effects.
Just as 24-hour news channels have found that negativity and fear spread faster than good news, social media has found this as well. The end result is a near-constant stream of negativity and fear, one click away, at all times. This has sweeping effects for virtually every industry, but the medical community has been hit harder than most.
Because trust is so important in medicine and healthcare, anything that would break that trust down can have devastating consequences.
The majority of the medical community comprises of doctors and nurses that genuinely care for their patients. However, like any industry, there are bad apples.
When a doctor or nurse performs in a way that is lacking in integrity, the consequences to the patient they treat can be severe. As a result, this patient may be driven to lash out at the healthcare practitioner or medical practice. This type of lashing out is just what the social media world thrives on, and is likely to spread incredibly quickly.
The end result is, that we’ve all read articles about doctors making the wrong decisions. About nurses inaccurately dosing patients. About surgeons making significant, life-altering mistakes.
Although these situations happen very rarely, since the medical field covers so many people, they happen often enough to be commonly seen on the news, or social media. The end result is that even as medical practices and healthcare providers improve and get better, trust and faith in them is declining.
To say the least, this presents a massive problem to medical practices.
Earning the patient's trust
Although it’s not a good doctor’s fault that a bad doctor exists, sometimes on the other side of the world, good doctors must deal
with the consequences. Don’t despair, there is a silver lining.
If a medical practice embraces this new patient paradigm, and takes a position of earning patient’s trust, they will be one of the very few practices that does so. As a result, even sceptical patients will come
around, and eventually be the practices biggest fans.
Medical services are so vitally important to patients. When a patient finds a medical practice or doctor that “gets them”, they have found an invaluable asset they will never wish to replace.
Earning a patient’s trust starts the second they walk into the practice.
Everything in the practice should be designed to make them comfortable, and feel welcome. This goes from the furniture
and decor of the place, to how they’re greeted when they check in.
Every member of the practice should deeply understand the importance of gaining the patient’s trust.
When a practice fully accepts their position as medical experts, and
couple that with the growing distrust among patients, they can create an environment unlike anything the patient has seen.
Not only will this ensure patients come back as often as they need to, it also ensures that they will tell others about their phenomenal experience.
Then, in a world of distrust and confusion, your practice will be a light on a hill, welcoming patients into its warm, confident arms.
If you’d like to dramatically bridge the gap between you and your patients while still maintaining your reputation, Vividus can help. We develop strategies that help medical professionals grow their practice online and offline with targeted and strategic communication campaigns. Give us a call on 07 3282 2233 or visit www.vividus.com.au and we’ll provide the marketing advice that best suits your needs.
The content in this article was published in The Private Practice Autumn 2015 edition.