Just a little over a week ago, we ran a story here on the ReviewTrackers blog about how more doctors are now actively monitoring online reviews. A new report may explain why: more patients and healthcare consumers are consulting reviews before they make treatment-related decisions.
In fact, according to the “Online Patient Reviews Survey” – published for the first time by healthcare tech company Digital Assent – it was found that approximately 8 out of 10 patients (82 percent) said that reviews influence their willingness to be treated by a doctor.
The data in the survey reaffirms the findings from previously published studies showing that more people are seeking health information online and using the Internet as a medical tool. According to Nielsen and BrightLocal, more than 70 percent of patients trust reviews as much as they trust personal recommendations. Popular doctor review sites today include Yelp, Dr. Oogle, Healthgrades, Vitals, Wellness.com, and RateMDs.
The Digital Assent survey also revealed other interesting findings:
- 50 percent of patients who responded believe that the online reputation of a doctor is worth considering if the doctor has at least 10 online reviews.
- Patients are also looking at doctors’ aggregated online ratings. A four- or five-star average rating, to 80 percent of the respondents, would be “good enough”; whereas 85 percent said that they won’t be comfortable choosing a doctor if more than 10 percent of the doctor’s reviews had a one-star rating.
- Apparently, reviews and ratings also have an expiration date. According to the report, 3 out of 4 patients feel that reviews lose credibility if the information is more than a year old.
Said Digital Assent CEO and founder Andrew Ibbotson: “Our patient survey confirms that the trends being observed in the broader consumer market also apply to the U.S. healthcare market. Consumers rely heavily on online resources to make purchasing decisions – and healthcare consumers are no different.”
Here at ReviewTrackers, we’re committed to helping doctors and medical professionals effectively monitor their reputation online and manage their reviews. Check out the Tour page to find out how our review management software platform works, or get started today by signing up for a free trial.