The concept of the “consumer patient” is becoming more prevalent. Patients are increasingly taking the reins in managing their own health, including becoming more selective about the doctors they visit to receive care. Patients are treating healthcare as a commodity; and just as a customer might read other customers’ online reviews of a restaurant before dining there, patients are turning to online reviews of doctors before scheduling appointments.
Software Advice, a resource for medical software reviews and research, recently surveyed 4,500 patients to determine what role online patient reviews play in patients researching their doctors. Their research found that 62 percent of patients who use online reviews are doing so as a first step in searching for a new doctor.
Where do patients turn to find these online reviews? Review site HealthGrades proved most popular among the survey’s respondents, followed closely by Yelp. Interestingly, when asked which review site they trust more, the opposite held true—Yelp ranked first, followed by HealthGrades.
Other key findings include data related to what patients look for on review sites. The most important information patients are seeking concerns accuracy of diagnoses, the number of years a physician has been in practice and wait times.
The presentation below outlines all of the survey’s key findings: