Doctors and Medical/Health Tourism
In this digital age, especially with a rising middle class in Asia, doctors are discovering the benefits of medical tourism. It is a term originated by travel agencies and the mass media describing the rapidly-growing practice of travelling across international borders for obtaining medical care. With the growth of medical/health tourism, it has become important for the doctors to profile themselves on the internet to help grow their practice. In USA and throughout the developed world, Medical Tourism has become more common as it offers a cheaper option for medical treatment with little compromise on quality.
There are many reasons people travel for their healthcare:
- The full cost of their medical procedure is not covered by their health insurance
- Unavailability of certain medical services in their country of residence.
- International travel is reasonably priced with low cost carriers and accommodation sites like airbnb.
- Improvement in the global standards of care as well as technological advancements in healthcare.
- Improved availability of information.
Health tourism is an advantage for all those who are a part of the industry, be it the doctors, translators, patient, or any other service providers. While patients also benefit immensely with information on quality of care, doctors, hospitals, and health tourism destinations. The internet has become an important platform for doctors to research for information and increasingly, communicate their profile.
As the standards of care, doctors training and technology in developing countries have improved in current years, people look at medical tourism as an attractive solution to their health problems.
The digital world offers doctors a vast opportunity for potential patients to find them. The first step is for doctors to create an online profile. It takes time but it is not difficult to manage their online reputation. With an online profile, doctors can engage with the the public. It becomes easier for potential patients to find them (doctors) by searching on the web.
According to a studies, up to 90% of patient review doctors' business before visiting them and about 82 % patients say that the reviews on the doctor profiles impact their decisions. So a profile on the internet essential for doctors. Many social media tools are available that can be used for improving or enhancing professional profiles.
A good profile is built through regular postings on
- networking sites,
- patient care advisory or articles on appropriate sites,
- attendance at public health conferences/programs,
- affiliating with reputable organizations,
- active educational pursuits.
Almost everyone get their information online, with a profile on the internet a doctor is profiling himself to an audience of patients across the world. Some doctors shy away from social media but this platform is now commonly used by medical professionals and hospitals as a means to convey general health information and sometimes even personalized help. Social networking platforms are great tools and are easy to use.
Social Media sites a doctor can consider:-
- Starting a blog/ website
- Online profile on Google+
- Starting a Facebook page
- Profile on peer partnership site DrCommune.com
- Profile on LinkedIn
- Making informational videos on YouTube
- Creating own website
The key considerations a patient makes when choosing a doctor is to feel assured that the chosen doctor will be the most competent to deal with their condition. This assuarance is best when the doctor is referred to the patient from another doctor. Therefore, as much as having an online presence is important. It is most important for doctors to establish a profile and 'market' themselves to other doctors. Create a network of doctors who know you, your strength and vice versa.
Click on the link to join our network of doctors. Registration is free. www.drcommune.com