Patients are looking for the best doctors who provide the best value. And more and more patients are using the Internet to make this decision.

Patients want 3 things from doctors: (1) don’t kill me (also known as “patient safety”) (2) make me better (also known as “clinical outcomes”); and (3) don’t empty my wallet in the process. Patients searching the Internet are seeking authenticity. They want their doctors to be worthy of their trust. They want their doctor to have the votes of support from fellow patients.

The subtext is if you deceive me in anyway – you will burn… on the Internet. And Google has my back!

There are companies that tout “reputation management.” This implies that reputation is something that can be manipulated. Accordingly, this term has been associated with gaming the system. And Google has taken note. Recently Google blacklisted the two largest “reputation management” companies – Reputation.com and Brand.com. While it’s unclear precisely why Google took such action, the general consensus is that these entities were not focused on helping consumers find the best businesses; they were focused on helping businesses deceive the public.

Contrast this with “reputation marketing” or “medical identity management.” This implies taking your underlying reputation and distributing this message to the world. No deception. Just an honest accounting.

Integrity does exist. Talented doctors who focus on integrity will be rewarded in the online world.

At eMerit, fulfilling that obligation distills to two questions we discuss with all healthcare professionals we engage.

If you’re a talented doctor who listens to your patients, listens to and acts on constructive feedback, eMerit is the best platform in the world.

If you’re a doctor looking to “white wash” your reputation, eMerit is the WORST platform for you because what your patients think of you will be amplified on the Internet. Sorry.

We are not fans of reputation management companies that hide and filter patients’ reviews. Patients are making decisions to see you because you’ve proactively asked patients to tell the world about your great safety record, positive clinical outcomes, and great “customer service”. If a patient disagrees with any one of those assertions, it shouldn’t be swept under the rug. Solve the problem.

Think about a potential newspaper headline running a story about a doctor’s use of the typical reputation management service.

Doctor X put people at risk for a long time; accused of deceiving patients by proactively hiding negative reviews

Here’s eMerit’s headline: We help patients find great doctors. We help great doctors be found. We help these doctors become even stronger assets to the community they serve.

Doctors – pay attention to the headline you want associated with your real reputation (Medical Identity).