New research by the American Osteopathic Association (AOA) shows that patients are relying increasingly on consumer review sites and doctor ratings sites in order to find – or switch to – new physicians.
According to AOA’s “Finding Dr. Right,” a study based on survey results covering over 1,000 patients in the US, approximately 33 percent – or 1 out of every 3 patients – use either physician rating websites (e.g. Vitals, Healthgrades) or consumer review sites (e.g. Yelp) as tools for finding doctors and physicians.
Word of mouth – passed via recommendations made by family and friends – is still the most popular and traditional way for patients to find doctors. But the Internet is also increasingly being relied on by consumers, prompting the healthcare sector – including doctors, hospitals, primary care professionals, insurance companies, and healthcare providers – to evolve towards establishing their presence across multiple digital channels, and to monitor patient feedback and manage patient satisfaction using online tools.
“Each of us is different when it comes to our medical care,” emphasizes Jennifer N. Caudle, DO, an AOA board-certified family physician in Philadelphia. “Choosing a physician who meets your unique needs can have significant benefits to your overall, long-term health.”
For other interesting highlights from AOA’s study, check out the infographic below:
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