Manage Your Practice

Using (and Used By) Public Information

November 9, 2011

What do you know, really know, about the people you do business with?  For example, about your employees, subcontractors and the CEOs of the hospitals you deal with.

A few years ago a friend, let’s call him “C,” told me the following story:

C’s son, attending college in the East, was looking for a new roommate to share an apartment.  C’s friend said that his son attended the same university.

Instead of simply passing the kid’s name along to his son, C decided to do a bit of research first and, much to his amazement, found a treasure trove of information that, to say the least, disqualified the potential roommate, at least through a parent’s eyes.

Recently, the Wall Street Journal reported that some school admissions officers are using Facebook and other social media sites to discover information about applicants, searching for things which don’t match with the applicant’s statements made in the course of the admissions process.

Of course, this post isn’t about vetting roommates or potential students, it’s about gathering information in the context of your business dealings, where research of this sort is more than simply prudent, it’s required.

For individuals in general, this means you have to be careful about what you post on the Internet about yourself and about what is posted about you.  Of course, there’s a flip side to this:  you also have the ability to create your own “truth,” or mythology.

For physician group leaders, this means that you need to clearly vet, and regularly check, available public information about, and posted by, your group’s members.  You should also be checking the information that others have posted about your group.

And, extremely importantly, you need to develop a thorough knowledge base of your group’s business competitors and contracting/negotiating partners.  Even the smallest detail can often be used to your advantage.

Comment or contact me if you’d like to discuss this post.

Mark F. Weiss

www.weisspc.com

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