Atlanta, GA — Choosing a doctor is a very important decision for any individual or family. With hopes of creating a sustained, long-term relationship, which has been proven to provide better care, seeking the right healthcare provider is essential. In a 2013 Consumer Health Report, 76% of doctors said that forming a long-term relationship is the most important thing that a patient can do.

So what is the best way to choose a physician? Turns out that many of us still rely on word-of-mouth recommendations to find our healthcare needs but many patients are beginning to use doctor review sites such as Healthgrades, RateMDs and ZocDoc. Just like you would search for a great restaurant or find a place to stay, these sites use reviews and rating systems to engage patients to provide useful feedback.

In a report by Digital Assent, 82 percent of patients say online reviews influenced their willingness to be treated by a doctor and 72% would consider not choosing a doctor based on negative reviews.

Do Online Reviews Of Physicians Matter?

Good Bad Reviews

src: Digital Assent

So how is this changing the point of care? With online reviews becoming a new concern for care practitioners, some doctors have stated that their practice has suffered because of these reviews and have also used their valuable time to manage their online reputations. Only 12 percent of members of the American College of Physician Executives (ACPE) said online patient reviews are helpful with 26 percent calling them a nuisance.

With a movement toward transparency in healthcare, this has become a heated debate at the intersection of technology and medicine and doesn’t look to be going away soon.

Posted By: Mike Martins

About the Author:

As Managing Director of Innovation for Syneos Health Communications, Leigh is responsible for shaping the company’s perspective on the next era of healthcare marketing. Through thought leadership, strategic innovation workshops and new products and capabilities, Leigh focuses on identifying marketing approaches that will fuel that new era and generate significant growth for clients. Leigh has worked with Fortune 1000 companies to craft their digital, mobile, social and CRM strategies for over 17 years. She’s worked for category-leading agencies in retail, public affairs, B2B technology, and higher education. Prior to moving to Syneos Health Communications, she had several leadership roles at one of our agencies, GSW. There, she founded an innovation practice fueled by the zeitgeist and spearheaded digital and innovation thinking across the business. Leigh has taken a special interest in complex healthcare products that can change lives in meaningful ways. She was recently a strategic lead on the 3rd largest launch in pharmaceutical history: Tecfidera. Before that she had keys roles with Eli Lilly Oncology, Abbott Nutrition, Amgen Cardiovascular, and Eli Lilly Diabetes. A critical part of Leigh’s work is trends and new ideas. Every year, she convenes a group of trend watchers from across our global network to identify the shifts most critical to healthcare marketers. Leigh is a sought-after writer and speaker. Recognized as one of the most inspiring people in the pharmaceutical industry by PharmaVoice, Leigh also was recognized as a Rising Star by the Healthcare Businesswomen's Association (HBA) for her overt passion, industry thought leadership and significant contributions in new business, strategy and mentoring.