Physician technology to assist with ultrasound procedures.
Physician technology to assist with ultrasound procedures.

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How and Why Patients Use Online Physician Reviews

Table of Contents

A recent Software Advice survey of more than 4,500 people looked at which patients use physician review websites, why patients turn to these review sites and what purpose these sites serve.

Use by Age

The survey found that review sites were most popular among 25- to 34-year-olds, with 30 percent in this age group stating that they had used such sites. The sites were almost as popular among 35- to 44-year-olds, with just under 30% having used them.

Surprisingly, patients 65 and older were third most likely to utilize such sites. Patients between the ages of 55 and 64 were the least likely to use such sites, with only about 17 percent stating that they had used them.

Use by Income

According to the survey findings, the higher the income bracket of a patient, the more likely he or she was to utilize online reviews. Thirty percent of those making upwards of $75,000 consulted online reviews, while less than 23 percent of those in the bottom income bracket reported using them.

Reason for Use

Sixty-two percent of patients who consulted online reviews did so as the first step in finding a new doctor, whereas 19 percent used online reviews to evaluate their current doctors.

Information Sought

Most patients looked both for physician ratings and for information on the quality of care provided. More than anything else, patients sought information concerning the accuracy of diagnosis. In addition, users searched for information regarding how well doctors explained information to patients, how well they listened, quality of delivery or treatment, and time spent with patients.


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