New survey on how patients find and evaluate their physicians provides fresh look into their use of ratings and review sites and what matters most to them about the patient experience
MCLEAN, Va., December 5, 2017 – Binary Fountain, the leading provider of patient feedback management solutions with one of the largest repositories of online patient reviews and surveys in the healthcare industry, today released the findings of the “Healthcare Consumer Insight & Digital Engagement” survey. With the goal of getting an up-to-date view into how patients search and evaluate their physicians, the survey, conducted by OnePoll and commissioned by Binary Fountain, shows that healthcare consumers continue to depend on online ratings and reviews and highly value the non-clinical aspects of their patient experience.
Online ratings and review sites are highly influential
What’s common practice for restaurants, hotel stays and Amazon purchases, is now prevalent in a person’s experience with their healthcare providers. Today, healthcare consumers value online ratings and reviews because they provide unfiltered, transparent patient feedback necessary to find the right physician or hospital. The survey results reflect the impact of online ratings and review sites and the rise of healthcare consumerism.
- 95 percent of respondents find online ratings and reviews “somewhat” to “very” reliable.
- 75 percent of Americans say online ratings and review sites have influenced their decision when selecting a physician.
- 30 percent of consumers share their personal healthcare experiences via social media and online ratings and review sites.
Of the respondents that have utilized ratings and review sites when choosing a doctor, many selected Google as a primary source (34 percent), followed by Healthgrades (17 percent), Consumer Health Ratings (13 percent), Rate MDs (13 percent) and Yelp (12 percent).
Millennials like to share their healthcare experiences online
The survey showed that consumers between the ages of 25-34 are the most active over social media and are more inclined to share their healthcare experience online. In fact, 60 percent of respondents ages 25-34 say they share their physician/hospital experiences via online platforms, including social media and online reviews. With the focus on patient-centric care, hospitals have begun to monitor and review social media posts as they do customer support calls. The survey finds that for all age groups (except for the 18-24 age range), Facebook is the most used channel to share their healthcare experiences. For consumers between the ages of 18-24, Twitter is the most used social media channel to share their healthcare experiences.
“Health” and “care” belong together when it comes to consumer expectations
In today’s experience economy, patients have an expectation that hospitals will provide the best possible standard of care. If these expectations are not met, patients have a multitude of channels to share their thoughts, ratings and reviews. Simply put, patient experience and online reputation impact each other. As such, the “Healthcare Consumer Insight & Digital Engagement” survey examined, through multiple-answer questions, what factors matter most to patients when rating or evaluating a physician. The survey results revealed:
- 48 percent of Americans, across all age groups, selected “a friendly and caring attitude” as the most important factor.
- Whereas, 42 percent of Americans selected “thoroughness of the examination” followed by 40 percent of Americans who selected “ability to answer all my questions” as the most important factor.
- Overall, 54 percent of women believe “a friendly and caring attitude” is the most important factor, while 43 percent of men believe “ability to answer all your questions” is the most important factor.
Time is a pain point for patients
Across the board, patients mentioned “time” as the most frustrating issue about visiting the doctor. The survey results show:
- 48 percent of all ages 25 and above selected “wait time” as the most frustrating thing about visiting the doctor.
- 41 percent of millennials between the ages of 18-24 selected “having to schedule an appointment” as the most frustrating thing about visiting a doctor.
- In fact, millennials between the ages of 18-24 are three times more likely to be frustrated with “having to schedule an appointment” than any other age group.
When asked “what is one thing they think their doctor could do better,” nearly half (48 percent) of the respondents wrote quantitative time-related recommendations. Some responses include: reduced wait time, better scheduling of appointments, stop overbooking appointments, offer more availability, respond to patient calls faster, etc. In addition, more than a quarter (27 percent) of the respondents mentioned qualitative time-related recommendations, such as: make time to be friendlier and more caring, spend more time listening to my concerns and answering my questions, as well as, take the time to provide a better bedside manner, etc.
“The survey results verify that online ratings, reviews and social media need to be carefully monitored and evaluated by healthcare providers to remain competitive in today’s healthcare market,” said Aaron Clifford, senior vice president of marketing at Binary Fountain. “Industry research shows online ratings and reviews do not indicate quality outcomes of the healthcare providers, however, they do provide insights on how patients are experiencing various aspects of care. Now more than ever before, healthcare organizations need to proactively manage their online reputation in an effort to improve patient experience and increase patient retention.”
To learn more about the survey results and download an infographic, visit: http://bit.ly/2AOppXM.
Sponsored by Binary Fountain, the “Healthcare Consumer Insight & Digital Engagement” survey was conducted by OnePoll, a marketing research company specializing in online quantitative research and polling, between July 14-19, 2017. Feedback was obtained from more than 1,000 U.S. adults who have a physician.
About Binary Fountain
Binary Fountain is the leading provider of patient feedback management solutions with one of the largest repositories of online patient reviews and surveys in the healthcare industry. Its patient experience platform is built on a proprietary healthcare-centric Natural Language Processing (NLP) engine that mines patient feedback from surveys, online ratings and review sites, social media, and other data sources. Through Binary Fountain’s signature solutions — Binary Health Analytics, Binary Star Ratings and Provider Social Index® — Binary Fountain provides healthcare organizations with actionable insights needed to improve patient satisfaction and loyalty, increase engagement and drive sustainable bottom-line results. Leading organizations, large and small, rely on Binary Fountain to understand the patient experience, drive comprehensive operational intelligence throughout their organization, and engage with their patients through innovative transparency and reputation management solutions. For more information, visit www.binaryfountain.com or follow Binary Fountain on Twitter @binaryfountain.