True or False: 70% of Patients Use Online Reviews to Select Heart Surgeons
By Adam Pick on May 16, 2019
Last week… In my heart valve surgery newsletter, I asked our patient community a very simple question, “Would you recommend your heart surgeon?”
If so, patients could instantly provide their reviews at our online surgeon recommendation form. Ultimately, the patient recommendations would help current and future patients find and learn about their potential heart surgeons.
I was not prepared for what happened next….
Within hours, I received 400+ surgeon recommendations from patients all over the world!!! The patient reviews are still coming in. As I’m writing this, I just received a patient recommendation for Dr. Marc Gillinov at the Cleveland Clinic and Dr. David Adams at Mount Sinai Hospital. Next up, I’m getting ready to post this question at our Facebook page that has over 285,000 members.
Are Heart Surgeon Reviews Important for Patients?
All of this wonderful community support for current and future patients really made me think, “How important are online reviews for health care providers?”
After doing some research, I was quite shocked to learn just how important online patient reviews are for medical provider research and selection.
- According to this report by Christopher Cheney at HealthLeaders, 70% of patients refer to online reviews as “crucial” in selecting healthcare providers. Of the 839 patients surveyed, 74.6% had researched doctors, dentists and medical care online. The study also suggested that 69.9% of respondents said a positive online reputation is very or extremely important in selecting a healthcare provider.
- At this post on PatientEngagementHIT, a recent study suggested that 82% of 2,500 patients surveyed use online reviews to evaluate their doctors in some way. That is a a 57% increase since 2013.
Thanks to Amazon, Yelp and Angies’s List, I guess this makes complete sense given the shifts in consumer behaviors over the past 10 years. Case in point… My wife, Robyn, is addicted to online reviews. It doesn’t matter if it’s a restaurant, a hotel or a plumber. The first thing Robyn asks me about any product or service provider is, “What do the reviews say?” and “How many reviews do they have?”
When it comes to selecting medical care providers, I love the way Christopher Cheney from HealthLeaders characterizes online reviews in his report. He writes, “Choosing a doctor based on online profiles and patient reviews is the old word-of-mouth at today’s scale and speed.”
Keep on tickin!