It’s no secret that online physician reviews can influence patient healthcare decisions. For the medical office, they can boost local search rankings, and affect how many patients decide to visit you.
As a doctor, online physician reviews influence the way patients view your practice. There are many important facts and statistics that it is important to know about online patient reviews to get the most from them.
Here are important facts about online physician reviews. If you are are a doctor they are valuable to know to see the value of online reviews in your practice.
1) Almost half of consumers say online physician reviews matter
According to statistics from National Research Corporation, 47 percent of consumers say a doctor’s online reputation matters. This percentage is tied with the restaurant industry for #1 among all local business types.
Considering the life-changing effects that choosing the wrong doctor for a serious health condition can have compared to choosing the wrong diner for lunch, maybe that shouldn’t be surprising. But when people think of online reviews, most of them probably still think of Yelp and whatever new restaurants they’ve been yearning to try.
The importance consumers place on healthcare compared to hospitality industries is a strong indication that doctor reviews are here to stay. The overall number of hospital reviews on sites like Yelp may be a lot smaller than the number of restaurant reviews today, but chances are patients will close that gap in the future.
2) Most patients read at least four reviews before deciding
Over 60 percent of consumers today will read four or more online physician reviews before forming an opinion, However this is an issue because the average online physician has less than 2.4 reviews online per site.
This means more than half of all prospective medical patients find and insufficient number of available reviews. This is frustrating when they need to choose physicians for themselves or their loved ones.
3) Online Physician Reviews are replacing personal recommendations
In the past, word-of-mouth recommendations were generally considered the most influential when choosing a doctor. But the reality is slowly changing, as patients become more comfortable online. Today, about 80 percent of consumers trust online physician reviews as much as personal recommendations from a friend or family member.
For doctors, this means that the benefit of high online medical reviews is clear, as is the potential harm of negative ratings.
4) Patients can easily spot fake online physician reviews
The truth is that people don’t like fake online reviews. Statistics show that 31 percent of consumers only trust reviews that seem authentic. Meaning they are written by people who are real patients, just like them.
While fake reviews aren’t common, many online doctor review sites don’t verify whether feedback is from real patients. This means there is a risk of marketing companies ‘puffing up’ a doctors online reputation.
There’s no doubt that your patients’ desire for more accurate information is going to be more and more relevant in the future. But so too is the need for it to be authentic. Make sure your reviews online physical reviews are from real patients of record.