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How Patients Use Online Reviews
IndustryView Report
Trends from the healthcare industry
Abstract

In October and November 2013, we surveyed a total of 4,515 patients in the U.S.
to reveal trends in the use of o...
Percentage of Patients Using Online Physician Reviews

25%
Use online reviews
Don’t use online reviews

75%

Though this f...
Patients Using Online Reviews by Age

Age 25-34
Age 35-44
Age 65+
Age 18-24
Age 45-54
Age 55-64
0%

5%

10%

15%

20%

25%...
Patients Using Online Reviews by Income

$75k+

$50-74k

$25-49k

$0-24k
0%

5%

10%

15%

20%

25%

30%

35%

Percent usi...
Patients Using Online Reviews by Urbanicity

Urban

Suburban

Rural

0%

5%

10%

15%

20%

25%

30%

Percent using online...
Patients Using Online Reviews by Gender

Male

Female

0%

5%

10%

15%

20%

25%

30%

Percent using online reviews
Perha...
Most Used and Most Trusted Review Sites

9%

7%

14%

31%

17%
43%

34%

Most used

HealthGrades
Yelp
Vitals
ZocDoc
WebMD
...
When Patients Use Online Reviews in Their Research

19%

19%

First step to find new doctor
Validate tentative selection
E...
Types of Information Sought by Patients

Quality of care
Patient rating scores
Wait times
Demographics
Pictures of doctor/...
Most Important Information about Quality of Care

Accuracy of diagnosis
How well doctor explains
How well doctor listens
D...
Most Important Demographic Information

Years of experience
Certifications
Age
Academic background
Gender
Other
0%

10%

2...
Most Important Administrative Information

Wait times
Billing/payment
Staff friendliness
Ease of scheduling
Office environ...
Willingness to Visit a Doctor Not Covered by Insurance

26%
Willing to go out of network
Not willing to go out of network
...
Willingness to Go Out of Network by Gender

Female

Male

0%

5%

10%

15%

20%

25%

30%

35%

Percent willing to go out ...
Willingness to Go Out of Network by Age

55+

35-54

Under 35

0%

5%

10%

15%

20%

25%

30%

35%

Percent willing to go...
Total Patients Who Leave Online Reviews for Doctors

10%

Leave online reviews
Don’t leave online reviews

90%

Of all pat...
Patients Who Use and Leave Online Reviews

41%

Leave online reviews
Don’t leave online reviews

59%

Among patients who u...
Patients Leaving Reviews Online by Urbanicity

Rural

Urban

Suburban

0%

5%

10%

15%

20%

Percent who leave online rev...
Patients Leaving Reviews Online by Age

Age 55-64
Age 45-54
Age 35-44
Age 25-34
Age 18-24
Age 65+
0%

5%

10%

15%

20%

2...
Read Report

Read about our findings in more detail.

@SoftwareAdvice

/company/software-advice

/SoftwareAdvice

@Softwar...
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Software Advice IndustryView: How Medical Patients Use Review Sites

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We surveyed 4,515 patients in the U.S. to discover when and why they use online review sites to research doctors, and which sites they use.

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Software Advice IndustryView: How Medical Patients Use Review Sites

  1. 1. How Patients Use Online Reviews IndustryView Report Trends from the healthcare industry
  2. 2. Abstract In October and November 2013, we surveyed a total of 4,515 patients in the U.S. to reveal trends in the use of online physician review websites. We analyzed the data to answer the following questions: • Who is using review sites to research doctors? • During what point in their research are patients using these sites? • What sites are patients using most often? • What information are patients looking for?
  3. 3. Percentage of Patients Using Online Physician Reviews 25% Use online reviews Don’t use online reviews 75% Though this figure lags behind the percentage of consumers using review sites for retail decisions, we found a significant percent of patients using online reviews.
  4. 4. Patients Using Online Reviews by Age Age 25-34 Age 35-44 Age 65+ Age 18-24 Age 45-54 Age 55-64 0% 5% 10% 15% 20% 25% 30% 35% Percent using online reviews Although the 65+ age group has unexpectedly high utilization, overall we see use of online reviews trending downward with age.
  5. 5. Patients Using Online Reviews by Income $75k+ $50-74k $25-49k $0-24k 0% 5% 10% 15% 20% 25% 30% 35% Percent using online reviews As we expected, the likelihood of patients to use online reviews to research doctors increased steadily with their income.
  6. 6. Patients Using Online Reviews by Urbanicity Urban Suburban Rural 0% 5% 10% 15% 20% 25% 30% Percent using online reviews We found that patients in urban areas predictably use online reviews with greater frequency than those in suburban or rural areas.
  7. 7. Patients Using Online Reviews by Gender Male Female 0% 5% 10% 15% 20% 25% 30% Percent using online reviews Perhaps most surprisingly, we found that males were one quarter more likely to use online review sites than females.
  8. 8. Most Used and Most Trusted Review Sites 9% 7% 14% 31% 17% 43% 34% Most used HealthGrades Yelp Vitals ZocDoc WebMD 44% Most trusted While a plurality of patients say they use Healthgrades most often, more patients indicated Yelp was the most trustworthy source of online physician reviews.
  9. 9. When Patients Use Online Reviews in Their Research 19% 19% First step to find new doctor Validate tentative selection Evaluate existing doctor 62% The overwhelming majority of patients using online reviews do so as a first step when looking for a new doctor.
  10. 10. Types of Information Sought by Patients Quality of care Patient rating scores Wait times Demographics Pictures of doctor/office 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% Percent of respondents We asked patients to rank the top 3 types of information they look for on review sites. Quality of care, overall ratings, and wait times were most important.
  11. 11. Most Important Information about Quality of Care Accuracy of diagnosis How well doctor explains How well doctor listens Delivery of treatment Time spent with patients Other 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% Percent of respondents When asked about the most important information related to quality of care, nearly half of the patients indicated accuracy of diagnosis is most important.
  12. 12. Most Important Demographic Information Years of experience Certifications Age Academic background Gender Other 0% 10% 20% 30% Percent of respondents Years of experience and certifications were the most important demographic information sought by patients on review sites. 40%
  13. 13. Most Important Administrative Information Wait times Billing/payment Staff friendliness Ease of scheduling Office environment/cleanliness Other 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% Percent of respondents When it comes to information about how the practice runs, patients are looking for information on wait times, billing and payment issues, and staff friendliness.
  14. 14. Willingness to Visit a Doctor Not Covered by Insurance 26% Willing to go out of network Not willing to go out of network 74% Over a quarter of insured patients indicated they’d be willing to visit a doctor outside of their insurance network if he or she were very highly reviewed.
  15. 15. Willingness to Go Out of Network by Gender Female Male 0% 5% 10% 15% 20% 25% 30% 35% Percent willing to go out of network Females are significantly more willing to visit a highly-reviewed doctor outside of their insurance network than males.
  16. 16. Willingness to Go Out of Network by Age 55+ 35-54 Under 35 0% 5% 10% 15% 20% 25% 30% 35% Percent willing to go out of network The willingness of insured patients to visit a highly-reviewed out-of-network doctor is positively correlated with age.
  17. 17. Total Patients Who Leave Online Reviews for Doctors 10% Leave online reviews Don’t leave online reviews 90% Of all patients surveyed (including those who don’t use review sites), only 10 percent indicated they leave reviews for their doctors online.
  18. 18. Patients Who Use and Leave Online Reviews 41% Leave online reviews Don’t leave online reviews 59% Among patients who use review sites to research doctors, only 41 percent indicated they also leave reviews for their doctors.
  19. 19. Patients Leaving Reviews Online by Urbanicity Rural Urban Suburban 0% 5% 10% 15% 20% Percent who leave online reviews Though rural patients are least likely to use online reviews, they’re most likely to leave them for their doctors.
  20. 20. Patients Leaving Reviews Online by Age Age 55-64 Age 45-54 Age 35-44 Age 25-34 Age 18-24 Age 65+ 0% 5% 10% 15% 20% 25% 30% Percent who leave online reviews Another surprise: excepting the 65+ age group, older patients are both less likely to use online reviews and more likely to leave them.
  21. 21. Read Report Read about our findings in more detail. @SoftwareAdvice /company/software-advice /SoftwareAdvice @SoftwareAdvice Software Advice™ is a trusted resource for software buyers. The company's website, www.softwareadvice.com, provides detailed reviews, comparisons and research to help organizations choose the right software. Meanwhile, the company’s team of software analysts provide free telephone consultations to help each software buyer identify systems that best fit their needs. In the process, Software Advice connects software buyers and sellers, generating high-quality opportunities for software vendors.

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