What’s Your Rating on These Top 10 Physician Review Sites

physician review

For many healthcare providers and medical practices, online reviews are not a priority. Yet, in today’s world where patients are increasingly relying on the internet to obtain medical information and check physician reputations, it’s an opportunity missed if you’re not listed on the major physician review sites.

If you’re still skeptical about the healthcare provider review sites, here are some statistics that may change your mind:

  •      More than 75 percent of patients check online reviews when they begin looking for a new physician
  •      More than 50 percent of healthcare providers rely on review sites to get a sense of patient satisfaction and areas that need improvement at their practice
  •      Nearly 50 percent of survey respondents said they would choose an out-of-network physician with a higher rating than an in-network provider with a lower rating
  •      Half the people surveyed felt physician review websites were helpful
  •      8 out of 10 people said they place equal trust in online reviews and personal recommendations

Online review sites are gaining in popularity as consumers use them to make decisions on everything from hotel stays to buying products to selecting a doctor.

These sites can seem overwhelming and even downright frightening to any physician testing the waters. In fact, nearly 80 percent of physicians admit that online comments are stressful for them.

Yet, a proactive approach can help manage your online reputation without the stress. Physicians need to understand that simply monitoring the reviews is not enough. The issues raised by patients in the reviews must be addressed.

It is important to seek legal advice before replying to online comments. In addition to compliance with HIPAA, there may be organizational processes to consider. Larger healthcare organizations sometimes invest in outsourcing the management of physician reputations to a professional. But if you’re a smaller medical practice or independent physician, here are the top 10 physician review sites you should be monitoring:

  1. Yelp

Founded in 2004, this site has millions of reviews on businesses and services ranging from dentists to diners. The site uses an algorithm to recommend reliable reviews to users. Although the site is traditionally a site to check restaurant reviews, there are more and more physicians and medical practices being listed and reviewed on the site.

Yelp requires users to sign up and search for their business and claim it as your own. Once this is done, you will receive an e-mail notification whenever anyone in the Yelp community leaves a review or asks a question.

Businesses are rated between 1 and 5 stars and users can provide more information in a free text box.

  1. Facebook

One of the most popular sites for staying connected, Facebook allows users to share photos, videos, and status updates. With an enviable 1.3 billion active users, this is one social media site you cannot afford to ignore.

A healthcare provider must first set up a personal profile page. The site then takes you through easy steps to create a business page for your medical practice. Facebook users can leave reviews which are linked back to their personal profiles. Physicians must learn to handle negative reviews without affecting the patient-physician relationship.

Users can rate your practice with 1 to 5 stars and write a review about their experience. You have the opportunity to reply and/or like their review.

  1. Google My Business

This free review site encompasses Google Maps, Google+, and Google search. Once your business is verified, it is easy to start collecting reviews which will show up when a person searches for your medical practice.

Physicians are required to sign up on google.com/business and create an account by searching for their business with name, address, and area.

Users can rate your practice with 1 to 5 stars as well as write a review and add photos.

  1. Healthgrades

This site receives more than 30 million visits a month. Which is why it is absolutely critical for your medical practice to have an updated and accurate profile on this site. The site offers its users an easy interface to find information about hospitals and physicians. Patients can apply filters to their search results, including distance, insurance, age/gender, rating, and availability.

Medical practices and independent physicians should update their information on the site through the sign-up form.

Patients can rate a provider with 1 to 5 stars on a number of criteria, including ease of appointment scheduling, cleanliness, staff friendliness, wait time, trust, and the care provided in terms of answering questions, listening, and spending enough time with the patient.

  1. WebMD

The physician directly on this site helps users find healthcare providers by area, medical condition, and procedures performed. The listing also includes the physician’s experience in years and overall rating.

Physicians need to claim their profile and enhance it by completing the information. Once your account is up and running, patients will be able to leave reviews which patients searching for physicians on WebMD will be able to see.

Patients can rate a provider with 1 to 5 stars on detailed criteria, including overall rating, explanation, answering questions, easily understood instructions, wait time, staff courteousness, and scheduling flexibility.

  1. RateMDs

This site has been featured by top media publications and has more than 2.5 million physician reviews. Users can search for physicians based on specialty and rely on 2 million reviews to make their decision.

The home page on this site has a “claim physician profile” button where you can sign up and update your information. It is a good idea to add a professional photo to make the profile appear more real.

Patients can rate a provider with 1 to 5 stars in four categories, including punctuality, helpfulness, and knowledge. Patients can also leave a comment detailing their experience with the physician.

  1. ZocDoc

This mobile app is easy to use and allows users to see a physician’s rating as well as find a nearby doctor and book an appointment.

You can start to build your reputation on ZocDoc and use it to attract new patients in your area after you have signed up and created a profile on the app.

Patients can rate a provider overall as well as wait time and bedside manner. They can also leave a brief description in their review, which is verified by ZocDoc before it is published for public view.

  1. Vitals

Users of this site can find providers based on name, locality, specialty, and medical condition.

Once you have claimed your profile on the site, you can update the information, including address, e-mail, etc.

Patients will rate you with 1 to 5 stars and write a review with a header and comment with further details. Criteria include agreeing or disagreeing with ease of appointment scheduling, courteousness, bedside manner, the accuracy of diagnosis, time spent, and followup.

  1. Angie’s List

Founded in 1995, this site has more than 3 million users and 10 million ratings. What began as a rating site for household services has grown to encompass a wide variety of services and businesses, including healthcare.

It’s a straightforward process to set up a profile on this site. You will then be required to choose a plan ranging from $25 to $100 per year with a range of features and options.

Users rate service providers with an A to F rating in categories such as availability, environment, friendliness, punctuality, communication, effectiveness, administration, and overall experience.

  1. CareDash

This site was founded with a mission to make healthcare information more transparent and easily accessible. This fairly new physician rating site is quickly attracting patients seeking not only reviews but also a host of health and wellness information through well-written articles.

You can sign up and update your profile from the home page of CareDash through an easy interface.

Users rate doctors with a 1-5 overall rating and a review with a title and the reasons for the rating. The user’s identifying information is protected to make it easier for patients to leave true reviews.

Why are patient reviews important?

With the increasing popularity of high-deductible plans, more and more patients are paying their own healthcare bills. This means more patients are seeking value-for-money when it comes to the care they receive at medical clinics.

This drives towards consumer satisfaction in healthcare is expected to continue in the near future. Patients will have the added option of seeking out information on physician performance on the CMS published Physician Compare website which will rely on MIPS performance scores, beginning in the year 2018.

To maintain a healthy online reputation, doctors must focus on all the criteria such as appointment scheduling, wait times, staff courteousness, physician bedside manner, follow-ups, and administrative tasks (for example, billing). Without feeling overwhelmed, it’s important to focus on the top 10 physician review sites listed above and start building an online presence. This will go a long way in attracting new patients and giving you the opportunity to address the concerns of existing patients. In the long run, this will undoubtedly reflect in your practice revenue.

Contact us to find out how we can help your social presence.

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