Managing Your Reputation in the Medical Imaging Industry

November 2, 2011

Having been introspective with your feedback, what kind of reputation do you want so that you attract the right opportunities? Whatever your vision, ensure that you have a clear understanding of your reputation and how you are perceived in your community so that you can link your reputation to how you market yourself.

Part 2 of a 3-part series

Last week, I suggested you invite feedback from your colleagues on how they perceive you, as a way to get a good understanding of your reputation in the field. Were you able to solicit and hear the feedback? Did you hear adjectives like team player, flexible, innovative - or aloof, unapproachable, unrealistic? Did you hear a few adjectives that weren’t what you expected?

Now is the time to determine what kind of reputation you want to create for yourself. If for example, someone said you were unapproachable, you may need to look at your interpersonal skills - being able to consult with peers, resolve conflict with staff and educate patients - which require openness to be successful.

Having been introspective with your feedback, what kind of reputation do you want so that you attract the right opportunities? Would you like to open your own imaging center? Do you want to become a speaker on MSK issues? Does the idea of being a consultant appeal to your business side? Whatever your vision, ensure that you have a clear understanding of your reputation and how you are perceived in your community so that you can link your reputation to how you market yourself.

So, Google yourself, check Healthgrades. Set up a Google alert for your name or the practice’s name so that whenever either is mentioned online you will receive an email notification. This is a great way to control your reputation online and within your community.

If you see something negative, begin damage control to address it. The best tactic to repair your reputation is to acknowledge the negativity, apologize, then work to remove it by flowing positive content through social media channels. In time the negative comment will work its way out of search engines.

However, if you encounter positive surveys on Healthgrades or Yelp parlay those to your practice’s website. Potential patients want to read what others are saying about you. If your practice does not have a website you need to make this a priority. Sites like 1and1.com offer templates, domain hosting and customized emails for less than $15/month. You cannot afford to not have a website.

Now that you have a starting place with feedback from others and an assessment from Google, you can begin to build credibility and your reputation online through sites such as LinkedIn. Google actually reads your LinkedIn profile to create search results so you want to make sure that keywords that you use to describe yourself are on your profile. This also makes it easier for recruiters or associations to find you.

For example, if you want to become a speaker and demonstrate your expertise in the field of MSK, highlight those accomplishments on your LinkedIn profile. You can also join one of the many groups available when you type in “radiology” or “MSK.” Participate in these conversations, answer questions from medical students seeking advice from radiologists, use every opportunity to become a resource and you will build a reputation for yourself. Another idea would be to start your own group if one doesn’t exist or if you want to establish a local chapter of a larger one in your community.

Having a clear vision of how you define success allows you to evolve your reputation so that you are consistent with your actions, how you interact and are perceived by others, and ultimately how you market and brand yourself to attract the right opportunities. In the online community patients are becoming savvier and although you may not interact with them directly, they will have a preconceived idea of the practice you are associated with; does that practice accurately reflect what you want to be known for?

In the final part of this series next week I will dive deeper into how to manage your online reputation.

Leslie Patton is founder and owner of Renaissance Ultrasound, provider of per diem clinical applications support, and more recently a social media and marketing consultant for healthcare professionals.