Patients are Using Reviews to Choose Their Doctors – Are They Choosing You?

choicesLast week the Wall Street Journal published another article about the growing importance of physician reviews and how patients now use these reviews to choose their doctors.

The article had two main conclusions:

  • Patients’ reliance on reviews for selecting doctors is growing exponentially
  • Doctors who embrace reviews receive the benefit of practice growth

WSJ cited numerous compelling studies which included data showing that 25% of US adults sought doctor reviews from one or more of the 50 doctor review websites, and of these adults, more than a third chose a doctor (or chose not to go to a doctor) based on the reviews. This trend is occurring even though the vast majority of patients said that they do not write reviews about doctors.

Of course, WSJ confirmed that many doctors are still very wary of reviews. But those who embrace reviews are changing the way they practice based on patient feedback, and in the process, acquiring new patients. Even family practitioners are seeing the benefit of reviews.

According to the WSJ:

Gregg DeNicola, chief executive of Caduceus Medical, a 20-doctor family-medicine practice in Orange County, Calif., says his first dealings with online reviews were almost all negative. Fired employees who posted fake reviews, he says, and patients who wanted Vicodin when they didn’t need it and vented online.

“First we did what anyone would do, we just ignored it,” says Dr. DeNicola. “Then new patients were actually canceling appointments because of reviews and we realized this could be more serious than we thought,” he says.

The practice decided to embrace online reviews.

Dr. DeNicola says new patients are now coming to the practice because of positive online reviews…. The review sites are “helping us a lot,” he says. “When we decided to quit ignoring it and embraced it, it totally changed the game.”

Read the full article in the WSJ