While historically, doctors’ relationship with online reviews has been prickly, it seems most are embracing the fact that doctor reviews are here to stay. A new survey from Vitals finds that over 80 percent of doctors monitor their reviews and ratings.
Bristling at the thought of being reviewed like a common restaurant or hotel, it wasn’t long ago that doctors threatened – and even sued – patients who posted negative feedback online. Yet, those tactics couldn’t stop the popularity of reviews, which provided much needed transparency to the process of selecting a doctor.
However, past Vitals Index studies have shown that doctor reviews from patients largely focus on the patient experience, not a doctor’s medical acumen. Comments tend to address issues such as: Was the doctor on time? How friendly was the staff? Was I rushed through my appointment?
The recent survey reveals doctors are listening to this feedback. In fact, 75 percent of doctors check more than one online rating site. Nearly 12 percent of physicians said they check reviews at least once per week. Another 33 percent said they monitor their doctor reviews monthly, while 42 percent check a few times per year. Only 13 percent said they almost never monitor online feedback from patients.
And beyond just monitoring, physicians are also responding to patient feedback. One in three said they have written back in response to patient comments.
Despite progress being made with online doctor reviews, a majority of docs state they aren’t ready to embrace that other advancement born from the internet: online scheduling. Nearly half said they have no interest in allowing patients to schedule office visits online.