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Indian doctors lag in online reputation management: Study

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Hyderabad, June 30, 2021 (Agency) Less than 10 per cent healthcare practitioners in India use online reputation management tools and social media tools to spread awareness about themselves and their work, reveals a study by Hyderabad Healthcare, a healthcare knowledge startup.

An assessment of online behavior patterns of Indian doctors found that they lag way behind in online reputation management.

Out of 500 doctors’ profiles examined from across six metro cities in the country, less than 50 individuals have a focused approach towards building their online footprint. While more than 80 per cent healthcare professionals in urban locales of United States of America have online presence, it hovers around 70 per cent among doctors from leading European nations.

Hyderabad Healthcare released its findings on the eve of National Doctor’s Day 2021, to create awareness on the need for online reputation management for healthcare professionals.

India is among the fastest growing countries in the world to adapt internet, and more and more Indians are depending on online resources to meet their information and knowledge needs. Youth often found doing an online search to know which doctor is ideal to health needs of theirs and their loved ones.

“While people have moved on to internet to search for information, most Indian doctors still depend on word-of-mouth publicity to gain more traction instead of using online tools to spread awareness. Covid-19 pandemic has motivated few and forced many doctors to increase their online impressions to spread awareness about ailments and attract patients’ attention towards themselves. Increased presence of doctors in the digital world will make internet a better, knowledgeable, and safe place for its users,” said Tekmal Sreekar Reddy, Co-Founder, Hyderabad Healthcare.

Doctors use internet to up their understanding of healthcare developments from around the world, and even to upgrade their skills. Many surgeons are seen using internet even in the middle of a surgical procedure to assess if the process being followed is apt. However, they lag behind when it comes to using internet to widen their reach.

“More and more people, especially from rural parts of India experience online world and depend on online means for their needs. There is humungous scope for doctors to use internet to serve a wider audience, and in the process gain more patients base for themselves. Online increases the reach of a doctor and especially non-surgeons must use various available tools for themselves and for the benefit of the society,” said Lahari Kasarla, a tech entrepreneur.

Dr. Rahul Medakkar, COO, CARE Hospitals, feel that building a strong image online will be rewarding in the offline space.

“Hospitals care for the brands’ online presence and reputation; and of the individual doctors working there. Hospitals constantly strive to increase its footmarks in the digital world, and we as administrators encourage our doctors to use internet to connect with their audience. Digital space cannot be ignored any longer by anyone, because building a strong image online will be rewarding in the offline space,” he said.

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