With so many more people getting health insurance for the first time or a new plan, more Americans want to find the best care around.  For many, this means scouting out reviews on websites that review doctors.  The most common ones are www.vitalscom, www.ratemds.com, www.healthgrades.com although there are many others (such as yelp for local providers and the insurance plans themselves).  The sites provide consumers with the important information about the medical practice and doctor such s medical training, office location and hours as well as any hospital affiliations and languages spoken.

Of the 66% of Americans looking for health information on the web, as many as 40% will use doctor review websites.  Healthgrades.com alone receives seven million hits each month. The glitch is when a site gets only 1-2 reviews for a doctor.  This will obviously be skewed, especially if a patient has a vendetta.

Word of mouth from patients, family members and friends, still seems to be the most popular way to find new doctors but a trend is slowly changing this.

A study from PricewaterhouseCoopers’ Health Research Institute, shows that 13% of the American consumers are now choosing to write reviews about their doctors and other healthcare providers and 31% have read these reviews.

See below:

For What Types of Health Care Services Have Consumers Read or Written Online Reviews?

Data Point ImageThe report found that 28% of U.S. consumers have read online reviews of hospitals and 14% have written such reviews, while 16% of U.S. consumers have read online reviews of insurers and 5% have written such reviews. Twelve percent of U.S. consumers have read online reviews of pharmacies and 5% have written such reviews, the report found.

The report is based on a November 2012 survey of 1,000 consumers who represent the U.S. demographic population.

Source: PricewaterhouseCoopers’ Health Research Institute, “Scoring Healthcare: Navigating Customer Experience Ratings”

Have you used a doctor review site to rate a doctor or to find a doctor in your area.  Share your experiences and comment below.