Doctor reviews posted online by patients are one of the most important factors in the overall success of any healthcare practice.
In 2018, online reviews influenced 66.3 percent of consumers looking for a new primary care physician, which makes doctor reviews the second-highest influential review of any industry.
More than ever, patients are visiting multiple doctor review websites to find a new healthcare provider, and reviews are influencing their decisions.
Doctor Reviews Statistics
Before we look at which doctor review sites you should be monitoring, here are some interesting numbers worth considering:
- Almost three quarters (72 percent) of patients use online reviews as the very first step to finding a new doctor.
- 59.9 percent of patients say they selected a doctor based on positive reviews, and nearly the same percentage (60.8 percent) say they avoided doctors based on negative reviews.
- 41 percent say they still check a doctor out online, even if they were referred to them by another physician.
- It takes one to six online reviews for 68 percent of patients to form an opinion about a healthcare practice.
- 70 percent of respondents feel it’s “very” or “moderately important” for providers to respond publicly to online reviews.
By claiming a listing on major healthcare review sites, healthcare organizations can increase their online visibility, review volume, and patient acquisition. Here are the 12 sites where a listing can attract more patients.
- Google My Business
- Dr. Oogle
Yelp is commonly known for its restaurant listings and reviews, but the idea came about because co-founder Jeremy Stoppelman was sick and found it difficult to find any doctors in his area. Today, the popular site features more than 171 million reviews, and reviews on healthcare organizations account for eight percent, or more than 13 million, reviews.
Along with Yelp, Healthgrades ranks as today’s most trusted site for online reviews and ratings of doctors, dentists, and hospitals. The site lets users browse and find specialists by location, specialty, condition, and procedure. The site features over 1.1 million provider listings and seven million reviews and ratings.
The site also has advertising programs for providers looking to promote their practice. If you’re managing or marketing a hospital or some other healthcare facility, you can also check out Healthgrades’ solutions suite to drive growth, increase engagement, and improve quality and clinical performance.
You can learn to claim and update your free profile on Healthgrades with our short, yet detailed guide.
Another leading resource for healthcare reviews and information is Vitals, which features over 1 million physician profiles, 165,000 facility listings, and more than 9 million reviews and ratings. Vitals’ database allows users to search by specialty, name, location, condition, and insurance.
You can claim a Vitals listing by following the directions on the site’s signup page. On the listing, you can manage and edit information, including display name, practice address, specialties and expertise, and education and awards.
In addition to healthcare listings, Wellness.com features multiple resources for all kinds of health and medical information in the form of wellness blogs and interactive visitor surveys. Listings include including ratings, reviews, accepted forms insurance, certifications, and more.
You can get listed on Wellness.com by enrolling in the site’s Wellness Provider Program. There are three tiers within the program, and they all include the ability to create a listing. However, the mid- and high-tier packages include other benefits such as additional exposure on “major search engines” and listing placement on competitor profiles.
For more information, check out the Wellness.com Business FAQ Page.
Google is the world’s biggest search engine, and it’s also one of the most powerful local business discovery engines on the Web thanks to services like Google Maps and Google Search. Survey data shows that Google holds 57.5 percent of all reviews, which is further proof that a Google My Business listing is absolutely necessary.
ZocDoc offers a platform for booking appointments instantly, and it features doctor reviews, office addresses, and open appointment times. Patients can use it to fill out basic forms that are typically part of the waiting room experience. ZocDoc also offers a free mobile app to help patients find and book appointments with doctors.
To claim and manage your listing on ZocDoc – as well as enable instant online bookings and build positive reviews – go to the site’s “Getting Started” page.
RateMDs is home to over 2.5 million doctor ratings and 1 million reviews along with current health trends coverage and medical specialties information. It also lists and rates top hospitals and facilities across the US based on review information such as cleanliness and value. For individual providers, reviewers can provide ratings based on punctuality, staff, helpfulness, and overall knowledge.
Doctors and healthcare providers can claim their listings by clicking on the “Claim Doctor Profile” on the top right of the site’s home page.
8. Dr. Oogle
Dr. Oogle specializes in dentist listings and reviews. Each listing also includes a list of the most used keywords from reviewers, office hours, coupons, and photos and videos. Reviewers can leave text feedback and an overall rating. However, they can also rate the experience based on multiple factors such as results, cost, and hygiene.
Those who want to claim a listing can do so with their email address, Facebook profile, or Google account.
Doctor.com is a platform that lets you tap into multiple healthcare networks on the Web, and it covers an audience of about 30 million people each month on popular review sites, like Google, Yelp, Bing, Vitals, and Healthline. However, it also features listings on its own site.
Signing up for Doctor.com gives you visibility on the sites across its network, as well as access to review generation tools, your practice’s own Showcase Page, and experienced practice consultants. Each profile includes a provider’s information on training, certification, hours, accepted insurance plans, and payment options.
RealPatientRatings owns one of the largest databases of verified plastic surgery patient reviews. The reviews generated by the site come from a survey completed by real patients who completed a qualified visit to a doctor’s office. Currently, the site features over 189,000 verified reviews. Site visitors can filter reviews by provider or a specific treatment.
Surgeons can sign up for RealPatientRatings by visiting Vizium360, which created the RealPatientRatings platform.
Another site specializing in cosmetic treatments is RealSelf, which has over 20,000 physician listings and 9.9 million consumers that visit the site every month. Patients can find a provider through the site’s “Treatment Finder” tool.
Providers can include multiple elements on their listing such as deals, links to third-party sites, and a Q&A section. Those interested in a listing can go to the site’s claiming page and enter information about their board certification, name, email address, and website.
Best Practices for a Healthy Listing & Great Doctor Reviews
Once you’ve created or claimed your listing, you can follow these best practices in managing your online reputation.
- Update your information. Always ensure that the information in your listing is up-to-date, accurate, and complete. Incorrect listings give a bad first impression to patients, and it might convince them to look for another provider.
- Monitor your online reputation. Reviews and reputation management should be a focal point in your healthcare marketing strategy. You must be able to understand what patients see when they search for and read about your practice on online review sites and search results. The best way to stay on top of reviews is by checking the listing at a regular frequency. To help you get started, read our reputation management guide for healthcare professionals.
- Respond to reviews. On sites where you can, respond to what patients are saying about your practice. This allows you to minimize the impact of a negative review or reinforce the great user experience detailed in a positive review. More importantly, this helps build patient engagement. However, make sure that responses are HIPAA-compliant to avoid financial penalties.