You know how when you’re driving in an unfamiliar city and you want to find a restaurant? The quickest way is to hit the ‘find a restaurant near me button’ on Google maps.  Immediately the closest restaurants come up –  and with one click you can call them, get directions or check out their website and customer recommendations. 


Well, if you have a medical business, you can use Google My Business  in the same way so that potential clients will quickly find you on Google search and Google Maps. Below you can see what happens, for example when someone types in ‘hospital near me’:

Get started with a HEALTHCARE PROVIDER Business Profile

Healthcare providers like doctors, therapists, and other medical practitioners can use Business Profile to manage info for their practices and personalize their profile on Google Search and Maps. If you don’t already have a Google account, create one. Then click on  and follow the steps to begin your business listing.


It’s  free, there are no limitations to listing your medical or healthcare business and it is really easy to set up.  In fact, Google might already show your business on a suggested list. If it already exists, you can simply claim it and then follow the steps to begin your business listing  

Once you’ve set up your listing, you can manage it from a Google My Business dashboard. The insight tool tells you have many phone calls or messages your listing has generated, whether clients found you on Google Maps or Google search and what keywords they searched for which led them to you. 





When you enter your business address it automatically creates a map with a pin so that your new customer just clicks on directions and gets the quickest route to your door.  


As a healthcare business owner,  a Google My Business listing is an essential part of your online marketing strategy,  so head straight over to your google account and get going!   

Here’s the link:




In years gone by, health care practitioners (HCP’s) were not allowed to advertise  their services, relying instead on reputation and word of mouth recommendations. Today, the legal landscape has undergone dramatic change and medical professionals  have a huge range of marketing and social media options for connecting with patients. 

In South Africa, ethical healthcare practice is governed by the Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA) which states that: “In the modern attention-economy, marketing is a reality for any practitioner involved in running a sustainable practice. However, we urge professionals to stay within ethical boundaries when trying to acquire patients to make use of their services.” 

Why are the guidelines important for your practice?
The HPCSA Guidelines are mandated in South African Health Legislation and form part of the standards of conduct on which a complaint of professional misconduct can be based. However, the boundaries are blurred and the HPCSA themselves say that: ‘it is impossible, to develop a complete set of specific prescriptions applicable to all conceivable real-life situations. Therefore, HCP’s may have to work out  for themselves what course of action can best be defended ethically.’ 

Clearly then, it is critical that not only you as the practitioner but also the agencies you work with, understand what the HCPSA views as unacceptable marketing.


For starters, healthcare hinges on a trust relationship between patients and practitioners so mainstream and social media marketing must be truthful and factual to help patients make well-informed decisions. This means that HCPs need to be extra cautious about  any marketing activity that could be interpreted as being misleading, offering an incentive, or promoting something or someone as superior to others. Here the terms ‘canvassing and touting’ are used, so let’s briefly unpack them:  


Canvassing is initiating systematic contact with prospective customers and actively  trying to persuade them to support a brand or a business. 

Touting is typically what tourists encounter when taxi drivers at an airport persist in offering them the ´best deal´ or the ´greatest hotel accommodation´. 

In the healthcare setting, these caveats also restrict 3rd party activity – for example letting patients know that there is  free Wi-Fi they can use in practice waiting rooms because this is a service which falls outside the practice’s scope of services. HCPs also cannot brazenly try to poach patients from other practitioners by making bragging claims like ‘Dr K is the best physiotherapist in Cape Town.” 


The HPCSA social media guidelines specifically caution HCPs against canvassing or touting on social media platforms or allowing anyone else to do so on their behalf. This means you need to  pay careful attention to how you use 3rd  party patient testimonials or celebrity endorsements. While these are permissible, they may not be for financial gain which also has implications for influencers promoting your services. In short, any claim must be evidence-based, scientifically sound and generic with the caveat that readers and listeners need to consult a health practitioner in person before acting on any information they receive. 

For example, a well-known athlete posts on Instagram saying something like:  ‘Three weeks after my knee surgery with Dr Fourie, I am riding my bike again and I feel great!”  This is acceptable but posts should mention that each patient experience is unique and that those considering knee treatment options must consult an orthopaedic specialist. The guidelines also detail strict conditions relating to patient consent and disclosure of patient identity. Lastly, something that is often overlooked is that once content is shared online, it is difficult to remove and is likely to remain on the internet permanently. 

For more guidelines for platforms like WhatsApp, Twitter, SnapChat, Tiktok, YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, please take a careful look at the HPCSA ethical guidelines  on social media. These highlight that any use of social media should be aimed at patient education and information that positively affects healthcare choices.

Download the guidelines 

The guidelines are contained in two booklets.

Booklet 11: Guidelines on over servicing, perverse incentives and related matters

Booklet 16: Ethical guidelines on social media

In our next few blogs we will give more info about other marketing practices on platforms like Medpages, Google My Business and Social Media, so watch this space.

Healthcare Receptionist Best Practices – Delivering A Professional And Personalised Experience

At Thetha Connect, we understand that nothing is more valuable than a person’s health and the health of the people they love. That is why all businesses operating within the medical industry should give sufficient focus to how they communicate with the people they serve.

If your business is in the healthcare sector, and you communicate with people via a medical call answering service, you need a healthcare receptionist who is well versed in the best practices regarding this important duty.

Here are a few healthcare receptionist best practices that our virtual healthcare receptionists at Thetha Connect incorporate when communicating with people on behalf of our clients.

Healthcare Receptionists Should Offer A Personal Touch

Over and above excellent communication and customer service skills, healthcare receptionists should be trained to offer a personal touch within all conversations. By greeting individuals politely using the company name, people phoning in to the medical call answering service will feel acknowledged and appreciated.

Rather than a pre-recorded interactive voice response (IVR) message, your healthcare receptionist should aim to connect with the caller on a personal level as a compassionate fellow human being, expressing the care and concern unwell patients and their families will appreciate.

Medical Receptionists Must Have Compassion

Compassion and understanding are core elements of any medical call answering service  solution where people facing health problems are communicating with your practice or business. Compassion must not be sacrificed for the sake of efficiency, and should be prioritised on each call to represent your business in a positive and caring manner.

Our dedicated medical receptionists build connections with your patients, and they understand the value of providing the person calling, whether sick, elderly or concerned, with genuine empathy and understanding at a difficult moment. This is not a skill or technique, but a genuine attitude that is inherent in our healthcare receptionists.

Confidentiality Key To Building Trust

Confidentiality is crucial when dealing with the medical records and private information of individuals. At Thetha Connect, our medical call answering service provides secure call recordings of diagnoses, prescriptions, and conversations, with access to recordings restricted to the patient and their trusted medical professional.

Patient and doctor confidentiality should always be prioritised to build trust, with every single medical receptionist trained to respect and maintain the privacy of patients.

By outsourcing your healthcare receptionist requirements to Thetha Connect, you can rest assured that your patients or clients will experience a highly-personalised medical call answering service adhering to healthcare receptionist best practices and delivered with professionalism, confidentiality, efficiency and genuine compassion.