Online Reviews for Medical Practitioners
Online review sites geared toward health care providers are getting more and more popular as patients turn to them for guidance. Studies show that 84 percent of U.S. adults use online ratings sites to make decisions about healthcare providers, with online ratings being one of the most influential factors when choosing a physician. In fact, 53 percent of physicians and 39 percent of patients say they visited a health care rating website at least once.
There are many medical practitioner review sites out there, from Healthgrades to RateMDs to Vitals. Each platform is different yet with the same outcome: helping patients find the best doctors by posting reviews. Doctors are rated on things like promptness, bedside manner, follow-up care, ease of scheduling, and more. In general, professionals are ranked according to criteria each user selects for sorting.
You can check up on the physician’s history, experience, education, type of insurance, location and more. Reviews are left by patients for patients.
How accurate are they and can they be relied upon? Well, their accuracy is just about the same for any other type of review sites, such as those for restaurants or the travel industry. They’re only as good as the diligence of the sites to monitor for scams and ensure overall quality of reviews.
Medical review sites are cracking down on fake reviews in the wake of increasing public perception that many reviews are frauds. In fact, one study shows that 90 percent of Americans say online reviews contain fraudulent claims and are not trustworthy. At the same time, patients are turning to reviews in higher numbers as a primary resource to find a new doctor. The Journal of the American Medicine Association (JAMA) reports 41 percent of consumers say that physician ratings are “very important” in their decision-making process.
To keep reviews as legitimate as possible, sites are doing away with incentivized reviews – which solicit reviews in exchange for a free or heavily discounted product. Others are using advanced algorithms to weed out the bad and give extra weight to newer, more authentic reviews.
To build credibility as trusted review sources, healthcare industry-specific review sites like Healthgrades and WebMD are taking action in light of higher awareness of consumer suspicion. Being in the healthcare space, these sites know better than anyone that the trustworthiness of healthcare reviews is of paramount importance.
As a healthcare provider, building your online reputation means you have to have a solid presence across multiple sites. But you should be picky about which ones you choose to be associated with. JAMA says that while Healthgrades and RateMDs offer more doctor coverage and higher average reviews per physician, patients actually trust Google and Facebook more.
In the end, you should focus your energy on sites designed to have the most impact on your business.
Contact Boost Reviews
We can help you acquire patient feedback, testimonials and online reviews for your health care business. Contact us now to learn more.