A national poll taken last fall and released this month showed online ratings play an increasing factor in a parent’s decision to pick one physician over another for their child.
How patients view online physician ratings
When it came to online ratings, only 25 percent of parents said a rating on a website was very important, with moms and younger demographics holding a larger percentage of that opinion. This does not mean parents are not turning online to find out information about their potential medical professionals. Forty-four percent of adults under the age of 30 thought that online information was very important.
Among adults who seek online doctor ratings and reviews, 92 percent found those websites very useful or somewhat useful and nearly one-third of all parents who went online said they have selected a pediatrician or family care doctor due to good ratings or reviews they have found on the web.
Important websites with information about healthcare providers
According to the poll, the most important websites for online searches and information about future care providers were those perceived as most informative and trustworthy and not those who listed rankings or ratings. Many of the respondents said they didn’t always trust the ratings, but gender and age also played a roll in that perception. Mothers and those who were younger seemed to hold a greater confidence in online information, which may be due to experience with online rankings and more online activity in general.
Physician factors patients look for
Other more traditional factors still play a significant role as well. Ninety-two percent of the parents surveyed said it is very important that the doctor accepts their insurance, while 65 percent said the doctor must have a convenient office location and about half said the doctor’s years of experience and word of mouth all were very important factors as well. Forty percent said a referral from another doctor was a reason some sought out a specific doctor.
The poll was conducted by the C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital, which is part of the University of Michigan health system.
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