Bariatric surgery, like many surgical specialties, is a competitive field. In an age of growing consumerism and access to information online, patients are more selectively choosing where they receive care. No longer do patients blindly take a primary care doctor’s referral to a specialist. Instead, a large percentage of patients take that referral and scour the Internet to find out everything they can about the physicians in the area as well as compare patient reviews, overall scores, and ratings for multiple providers. This is driving physician practices to up their game when it comes to using the Internet both to market a practice’s website and remain active on social media. Since many independent practices manage and maintain their own websites for both informational and marketing purposes, here are a few key points to keep in mind:
- Do not use superfluous language. Even if your practice was the first to use a particular form of therapy or device, simply note that you offer those services. In addition, avoid terms like “first in class,” “most experienced,” and “most qualified.”
- Be wary of marketing services that promote a product—for example, competing brands of intragastric balloons. If you offer both, include balanced information on the data relating to outcomes for each brand.
- Everyone loves to watch videos of success stories. If you make them, be sure to obtain patients’ consent and consider frequently changing out the testimonials. One patient’s weight-loss success at year one may not be sustained indefinitely. Also, never use paid actors for testimonials.
- Do not make comparisons between you and your competitors that could paint them in a negative light, even if you don’t name them specifically. For example, refrain from statements such as, “Our program has the best weight-loss outcomes in town.”
If you have any questions or concerns or would like to talk with an OmniSure consultant, please contact 800-942-4140 or firstname.lastname@example.org.