How Much Do Physician Rating Websites Influence Parents?

the MPR take:

Word-of-mouth recommendations have been the traditional standard for parents seeking a primary care physician for their children, but physician rating websites are being increasingly used in the decision-making process. Published in the journal Pediatrics, a cross-sectional, nationally representative survey of 2,137 adults with ≥1 more child aged <18 years living in the household sought to assess the use of these websites by parents in selecting a healthcare provider for their children. Almost 75% of parents had knowledge of these websites and 28% had sought physician ratings online in the previous year, but only 6% had posted reviews of physicians themselves. About 30% of parents who had previously explored an online physician rating reported either selecting or avoiding the physician due to the ratings. When combined with a high online rating and a neighbor's recommendation, the likelihood of choosing the recommended physician was 46%, significantly higher than neighbor recommendation alone (22%). The study also suggests that parents incorporate a multitude of factors when selecting a physician for their child, including office location and insurance coverage. The authors conclude that online rating websites for children’s physicians could develop a stronger influence in the decision-making process by parents with children <18 years, as they tend to represent a more Internet-engaged demographic.

Parental Awareness and Use of Online Physician Rating Sites
How Much Do Physician Rating Websites Influence Parents?

BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVE: The US public is increasingly using online rating sites to make decisions about a variety of consumer goods and services, including physicians. Participants were asked about rating Web sites in the context of finding a primary care physician for their children and about their previous experiences with such sites.RESULTS: Overall, 2137 (60%) of participants completed the survey.

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