eMerit® is the healthcare industry leader in the growing field of identity management. eMerit focuses on managing your Dental or Medical Identity® toward a sustainable and growing business – where both doctors and patients thrive.

What is a Medical Identity®?

Your identity is a unique blend of multiple, often distinct, sets of perceived values and acquired characteristics. Considering the pervasive effect of the Internet on our lives, an identity is perhaps best described as a combination of a Human persona and an Internet persona. And a doctor’s identity is no exception.

Interaction with your Human persona once fully defined patient experience. No longer. Today, patient experience is just as strongly influenced by a doctor’s Internet persona. Many in the healthcare industry recognize this trend and are now seeking new ways to address both faces of their Dental or Medical Identity®.

Curious about what you look like online? Our complimentary Medical Identity Maps will put you in the shoes of an imaginary patient and show you what Google shows him.

Explain what you mean by these two personas?

The meaning of Human persona is more obvious – a doctor’s individual personality, judgment, and competence, as he or she interacts with patients and the community at large. However, it is much, much more. For a patient, this Human persona is defined more broadly by the collective experiences as the patient receives care – the person scheduling the appointment, the waiting room, the person checking them in for the appointment, the examination room, the nurse…the list goes on.

In contrast, your Internet persona is a social identity defined in the Internet – reviews, online communities, and websites. Until a few years ago, your Internet persona would neatly match your Human persona, being an actively constructed presentation of yourself and your business. Given the massive rise of social media, your Internet persona is now more the result of online interaction than crafted messaging. In stark contrast to the Human persona where a doctor can exert a great deal of control on the patient experience, the Internet persona is much more difficult to sway – not impossible, but difficult and time consuming.

Make no mistake; these two personas are now inextricably linked. And both must be managed in order to leverage your Dental or Medical Identity® into a sustainable and growing business.

How does identity management differ from online reputation management?

Originally coined as a public relations term, reputation management is the influencing of an individual’s or business’s reputation. However, the Internet and social media have distilled this exercise primarily into a goal-directed activity of search results. Today’s online reputation management is often associated with ethical grey areas, such as biased review sites, flooding the Internet with webpages of “positive” content, or using Search Engine Optimization (SEO) tactics to game the system and influence search results of your Internet persona.

We consider monitoring your online reputation one important element of an identity management program; medical, dental, or otherwise. But, there’s so much more to identity management. Ethical forms of identity management include responding to patient complaints, asking sites to take down incorrect information and using online feedback from confirmed patients to better meet their needs. We consider these more positive methods – and many others – to be more important components of managing your Dental or Medical Identity®.