This hardly sounds surprising, but do you know that more and more parents are monitoring pediatrician reviews before choosing their children’s doctors?
Pediatricians, take note.
In a national children’s health poll on pediatrics conducted by the University of Michigan Mott Children’s Hospital, it was revealed that 25 percent of respondents – or one out of every four parents – consider online doctor reviews as very important.
Not only does the new study demonstrate that health-information-seeking parents are becoming increasingly Internet-savvy; it also serves as a call for pediatricians, doctors, and other medical professionals to pay greater attention to what patients are saying online about them.
Why? Because their online reputation could very well affect the number of people calling their office to make an appointment.
Popular doctor review aggregators and pediatric rating sites today include Wellness.com, Dr. Oogle, HealthTap, Healthgrades, and Vitals, as well as more general review sites like Yelp, Google+ Local, Insider Pages, and YP (YellowPages.com).
Here are some of the other highlights of the study:
- 30 percent of parents base their final decisions on online doctor ratings and doctor reviews.
- 30 percent have ruled out a pediatrician because of poor ratings or reviews. (When you come to think of it, this is perfectly reasonable. What sort of parent would want to entrust his or her child to a pediatrician with bad reviews across the board?)
- It seems like the gender of the parent plays a role in determining how influential online reviews are. According to the poll results, 30 percent of mothers see pediatric reviews and ratings as very important, while only 19 percent of fathers felt the same way.
- Younger parents are also more dependent on reviews than older parents. 44 percent of respondents below 30 years old believe that monitoring doctor reviews are important, compared to only 21 percent of parents 30 years old or above.
“More and more families are going online not only to find out about medical conditions, but also in their search for the right doctor for their child,” said David Hanauer, primary care pediatrician and clinical assistant professor of pediatrics at the University of Michigan.