Sometimes someone says it much than I ever could.
From Kim Painter, health reporter and columnist,
“Online ratings of physicians haven’t caught on as much as ratings of books, movies and plumbers, but a majority of consumers know they exist and one in four consulted them when picking a primary care doctor in 2012, new research shows.
Just 5% have rated a doctor themselves online, according to a research letter published Tuesday inJAMA, a journal of the American Medical Association.
The findings are based on a nationwide, representative survey of 2,137 U.S. adults taken in late 2012. It’s likely that awareness and use have grown since then, says lead author David Hanauer, a pediatrician at the University of Michigan. Despite concerns by many physicians that the ratings can be misleading and harmful, they are here to stay, Hanauer says.
“We do have to accept that this is becoming a fact of life,” he says. “The view of consumers is that they should be able to view and leave ratings on just about anything they want online.”
The survey found:
• 65% knew ratings of doctors could be found online, but awareness was higher for ratings of cars (87%), books and movies (82%) and other service providers, such as plumbers and electricians (71%).
• 23% had sought out ratings to choose a primary care physician in the previous year. That rose to 36% among those aware of the ratings, compared with 46% for cars and 52% for books or movies. Those differences may partly reflect how often people seek the services or products, Hanauer says.
• 19% said online ratings were very important when choosing a primary care physician — behind every other factor researchers asked about, including insurance acceptance (89%), convenient location (59%), years of experience (46%) and word of mouth from family and friends (38%). An additional 40% called ratings somewhat important.”
The rest of the article can be found here.
Word of mouth always spreads much more quickly online than it does offline. The bad news is that not every review is a good review. If you’re aware of what your patients are saying about you, good. If not, contact us, we can point you in the right direction.