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it was reported that approximately two-thirds of the citizens were aware about online rating sites for physicians and at least one-third of that population has used them in finding the perfect physician for their health needs. Just like ratings for mechanics, movies and restaurants, the type of doctor that a patient can choose depends on online reviews that rates physicians. According to a recent research published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, it was found that most patients rank insurance convenience and acceptance as very important factors.
On the other hand, in the search for a qualified physician, it was found that 19 percent of respondents say they consider doctor rating websites more important. This is based on the health research carried out by CAHPS Surveys, Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy and the University of Michigan Health System, School of Public Health. In addition, the results showed that fifty-nine percent considered a physician’s office location as very important while 89 percent of the respondents ranked “accepts my health insurance” as “very important.” David A. Hanauer, M.D., a clinical associate professor of pediatrics and primary care pediatrician said that the result was higher than the studies from just a few years ago because the results also show about two-thirds of the general public is aware of online physician rating sites.
Also, about 36 percent of those who are aware of online physician ratings and the websites that enlist their reviews used the sites. Mr. Hanauer added that it’s common for people to use online rating sites to look up reviews on things like restaurants, movies or cars. However, doctors have become the subject of ratings in the recent past. In addition, the research also shows how the doctor reviews are gaining much popularity and increasing awareness amongst the American population. “The result shows that some respondents are using the sites to make decisions about choosing doctors although many of them did not rank online ratings as a top factor,” said Mr. Hanauer.
Thirty-seven percent of those who sought ratings in the past year had avoided a doctor because of bad ratings and 35 percent had chosen a doctor due to good ratings. Despite persistent questions about how trustworthy these rating sites are, their study indicated that the public often use the physician reviews to make important decisions for their health needs. At least 5% of the adult respondents reported that they have ever posted reviews or ratings of doctors. However, the small number that took their time to post ratings on these sites claimed that those who relied on their ratings didn’t find a fully-balanced review about the physician. Previously, it was reported by the National Poll on Children’s Health that parents over 30 years old viewed doctor rating websites as less important as compared to parents below 30 years old. Therefore, as much as a large number of people are depending on the doctor reviews for solving their health problems, there are of a different view.