Vitals – an online resource that aims to connect patients and doctors through listings, reviews, and ratings – is one of the largest health sites in the world. Here’s one of the reasons why: Vitals’ collection of doctor ratings and reviews is considered by patients and consumers as one of the most useful and trustworthy. Founded in 2007 by Mitchel Rothschild and Todd Rosengart, Vitals has since grown its user base to 13 million consumers each month.
In a blog post, Rothschild discusses how Vitals is able to build an online doctor rating and review system that people trust.
Reviews have to be helpful
The first point involves collecting reviews that are helpful. And by that he means they’re moderated well enough to be constructive. “It’s not that reviews can’t be negative,” Rothschild writes, “but it doesn’t help anyone when a person has an axe to grind and takes to review sites like Vitals. So, moderation policies need to be legitimate, not restrictive.”
While doctors occasionally complain about the ratings and reviews they receive on Vitals, this isn’t the sole basis for the site to pull down reviews. On the other hand, Vitals doesn’t tolerate racist or derogatory reviews: those, in other words, that aren’t helpful, and are designed simply to attack.
The anonymity of reviews is protected
It’s worth noting that Vitals has been criticized for allowing users to post ratings and reviews of doctors anonymously. But Rothschild explains that there’s a reason behind this. “Because one’s health is often private and not talked about publicly, Vitals made the decision to protect anonymity in our reviews.”
He adds: “On Vitals, reviewers remain as anonymous as a diner or traveler leaving a Yelp review.”
The higher the volume, the more valuable the reviews
Vitals takes pride in having collected more doctor reviews than any other site. “Consumers are savvy enough to look for patterns in a review,” Rothschild asserts. “They know that if there is one bad review among ten positive reviews, it is probably an outlier.”
Thanks to sites like Vitals, more and more consumers are turning to review sites to find health information. Online doctor ratings and reviews have also, in a way, become a more reliable measure of patient satisfaction, by which consumers and patients can share and read about individual experiences with medical professionals.
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