Reputation Management

Reputation Management in Healthcare: The Key to Correcting Misinformation

Reputation management is pivotal for hospitals and healthcare systems. Its effectiveness directly impacts the quality of healthcare services and ensures patient trust. Without a credible reputation, everything else pales in comparison. Quality scores, the latest technology, physician reviews, and patient experiences all matter. Addressing and correcting misinformation, especially in today’s digital age where rumors can spread rapidly, is a critical component of reputation management in healthcare.

A hospital’s reputation is a mirror of its medical proficiency and its unwavering dedication to patient care, safety, ethical standards, and overall community health. In the face of challenges, such as the recent pandemic, the importance of reputation management was further underscored. Unverified statements rapidly transformed into widely accepted facts, illustrating the urgency of debunking myths in healthcare.

Ultimately, a hospital’s reputation serves as a cornerstone for building lasting relationships with patients and the broader healthcare ecosystem, ensuring continued success and community support.

Addressing Sources of Misinformation in Healthcare

Effective reputation management in healthcare mandates a keen focus on the sources of misinformation. Whether managed internally or externally, social media channels require vigilant monitoring to identify and rectify misinformation that might sway your audience.

A recent study by researchers at the Ohio State Comprehensive Cancer Center evaluated 500 popular TikTok posts associated with five hashtags related to gynecological cancer. These posts garnered over 466 million views, yet a staggering 73% of the content was found to be inaccurate.

While social media’s reach can be a boon for healthcare marketing, circulating misinformation, especially about critical subjects like cancer or vaccinations, can detrimentally impact health outcomes. By actively tracking misinformation, marketing teams have the chance to rectify false information, bolstering the hospital’s reputation and highlighting its community value. This proactive approach also empowers healthcare providers to discuss trending misinformation with patients, bridging trust gaps and enhancing the overall patient experience.

Misleading Information’s Impact on the Healthcare Industry

The repercussions of misleading information extend beyond just medical protocols and outcomes. Patients, especially those battling conditions like cancer, juggle myriad challenges. For them, comprehensive discussions with their care team can allay concerns, fostering trust and nudging them to seek professional guidance over internet-based sources.

Platforms like TikTok, popular for light-hearted content, can unfortunately be breeding grounds for misinformation. Thus, reputation management also involves monitoring other social channels, podcasts, audio platforms, and even traditional media to a certain extent.

The Role of Influencers in Reputation Management and Misinformation

In the realm of reputation management, it’s essential to recognize the influence celebrities wield, especially when they venture into providing healthcare advice.

From celebrities promoting the latest wellness products to figures like the Kardashians endorsing new medical treatments or procedures, their vast outreach can often mislead the public. Consumers, captivated by these endorsements, might hastily follow such advice without consulting a medical professional. For healthcare marketers, it’s pivotal to address such celebrity-driven narratives and guide the audience toward informed, professional advice.

Who Do Audiences Trust for Health Information?

In our digitally connected era, online reviews and social media significantly shape public perception. Effective reputation management leverages these platforms to promptly address negative feedback, accentuate hospital strengths, and underscore a commitment to patient well-being.

Interestingly, the 2023 Edelman Trust Barometer reveals a diminished trust in media, especially social media, with only 44% of respondents placing their trust in social media platforms. In contrast, the healthcare sector enjoys a 70% trust rating, and scientists are trusted by 76%. A 2023 Gallup poll further indicates that despite a generalized skepticism among Gen Z towards major US institutions, their trust in science remains over 70%, and more than 80% express trust in the medical system to varying degrees.

These trust metrics offer healthcare marketers a golden opportunity: position medical professionals to counteract misinformation, thereby enhancing and preserving the institution’s reputation.

TotalCom is a full-service marketing agency helping brands like yours tell their story to the right audiences. Email Lori Moore or call TotalCom Marketing Communications at 205.345.7363 to see how TotalCom may be the right fit for you.