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People Want More Information About Doctors Online

People research gadgets more than doctors

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[ Technology]

U.S. adults with a primary care physician spend more time researching the latest electronic gadget or a gift for a friend than they do choosing a doctor, according to a new study released by Insider Pages and conducted by Harris Interactive.

At the same time, the majority of U.S. adults with a primary care physician wish they could find more comprehensive information about their doctors online.

InsiderPages While the online ratings and reviews category has seen strong growth in recent years across a number of categories such as consumer electronics, healthcare has lagged behind, and consumers have more or less settled for what they can find out about their doctors from health insurance websites. The end result is that many consumers don’t favor one source of information to evaluate potential doctors outside of their insurance companies’ websites.

More than two-thirds (67%) of adults wish they could find more comprehensive information about doctors online and nearly three-quarters (73%) of people under 35 feel the same way.

Other highlights from the Insider Pages study include:

*Over two-fifths (42%) of adults agree they spent more time researching the latest electronic gadget than their primary care doctor.

*Nearly half (47%) of adults with a PCP agree they chose their doctor primarily on location and not information about the physician’s expertise, malpractice record or online reviews.  

*For one quarter (25%) of adults with a PCP, word of mouth is the most important factor aside from their insurance plan when deciding if a primary care provider was right for them.

People Want More Information About Doctors Online
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  • http://www.chassis-plans.com Rackmount Computer

    I’m married to an Internist who is very good at her job and has been included in the Top Docs list of her peers for 6 years running. She has a closed practice (not taking new patients) and people all the time ask her if she has a waiting list. Somebody once asked to be notified if one of her patients died and an opening came up.

    Yet, if you look her up, you get a review from some guy who was pretty much wacked. Very patient centric view ignoring the fact there are other patients waiting to be seen. Didn’t like the fact that the doctor couldn’t devote endless hours to listening to this persons perceived problems and that person was going to let the world know. Mad because doctors wouldn’t respond to email.

    If you want to know about your doctor, ask the nurses in the ER where they admit. They know everything and will be happy to send you to the best in the area.

  • http://ink4less.com SWH

    Hi Rackmount Computer,

    Every business on the Internet, including professionals must deal with biased ratings and reviews. Even though your wife’s practice is a closed one, she should still email or provide her patients with a flyer that contains links to several review websites. This flyer should ask (call to action) her patients to go online and review her practice, make it as easy for them as possible. Maybe even provide an incentive, like waive one office visit co-pay for them to provide a review. Of course make it clear you want legitimate reviews, otherwise it will look like she just paid people for good reviews. This will by far even out the reviews so her online reputation will look much better and if the day comes where she needs to attract new patients, they won’t be scared away by the one bad review.

    On the other side of the transaction, I am a patient with a very serious medical condition that requires me to see specialists. It really frustrates me having doctors who don’t really care to take the time to figure out what is happening to a patient. If this is due to the performance requirements in place by insurance companies, then doctors need to fight back for the sake of their patients. If enough of them do it, then the insurance companies will have to change. Just like when Medicare cut payments to doctors in a small town I lived in, what did they do? They banded together and dropped all of their Medicare patients. Patients then had to drive 15+ miles to the nearest doctors who would accept Medicare. This may seem cruel, but things will not improve until it gets worse and the doctors have the power — the patients don’t. This tactic then put it back in Medicare’s hands to make sure their customers are able to see their local doctors, they ended up not making the cuts and most doctors returned to accepting these patients.

    I am a former computer and network tech, I would have been ashamed to charge my customers if I didn’t find the problem and come up with a resolution, whereas doctors have no qualms about just showing up and taking their payment. The new health care laws aren’t going to fix any of these issues.

    I have in-depth knowledge of this because it took 10 years for about 3 PCP doctors and some “specialists” to find and diagnose my brain tumor (really my Mom found it by insisting on an MRI that the doctors consider unnecessary due to cost). If it would have been cancerous, I would have been dead before I was even a teenager. In the last 25 years I have seen many PCP physicians and specialists alike. Patients should do research and provide feedback on their Doctors if we really want to improve the health care system, because not all doctors are created equally.

    SWH