In the world of Google, Tripadvisor, and Yelp, it’s easy to find a review of something. From the newest iPhone model to doctors, people are eager to share their opinions. Medicomp, experts in ECG monitoring, has learned that several researchers studied online sites in relation to doctors and determined that most reviews are more biased than you may think. In fact, many of the people posting comments may not have even seen the doctor they are writing about!

  • A recent study published in Mayo Clinic Proceedings found that negative online reviews were not doctor specific. In other words, patients gave negative ratings for a physician if the practice’s receptionist was not courteous or the waiting room was crowded.
  • The researchers culled 113 physicians with negative online reviews and compared their ratings with Press Ganey Patient Satisfaction Survey results. Surveys were compared with 113 providers without negative online reviews. The results showed that survey scores were similar for doctors, whether their online reviews were positive or negative.
  • Dr. Anil Ranawat, senior investigator and sports medicine surgeon at the Hospital for Specialty Surgery, noted the three qualities of affability, availability, and ability are key components in a positive patient experience. When doctors shine in these areas, ratings escalate. Generally speaking, these categories are not included in online reviews.
  • Many online sites are open to the general public and do not verify if the person writing the comment has had direct contact with the physician being reviewed, much less whether he or she has seen that physician as a patient.
  • Patient attitude can also mar results. If a patient has been told by a physician to give up smoking and lose 50 pounds in order to properly maintain cardiovascular health, that patient will leave unhappy and be more likely to post an online comment. Keep in mind that most comments are emotionally charged and written by patients who are either extremely happy or very upset. Using opinions, rather than facts, will not lead to the best choice of physicians.

Statistics prove that approximately 70% of Americans were influenced by online ratings and reviews in their choice of physician. Even if the doctor was referred from their primary care physician, 41% chose to look online for reviews. Physicians need to be aware of reviews and learn to handle them tactfully. A Healthcare Consumer Insight and Digital Engagement survey found that 95% of respondents believe online reviews are “somewhat” to “very” reliable.

Medicomp, experts in ECG monitoring, strives to give physicians and patients the latest news related to healthcare. Many of our blogs focus on improved patient care through addressing questions and listening. Call Medicomp at 800-23-HEART for any cardiovascular questions concerning our wearable cardiac monitors. We are here to help.