More than 70% of customers seek out patient reviews when choosing a new healthcare provider, according to a recently released report by Reputation.
The report, which surveyed more than 1,000 US consumers, found that women were even more likely than men to look for consumer feedback before signing on to a new doctor, with 80% of them responding that they would look for feedback from previous patients. Millennials were considered the most critical in the report, with 55% of them saying that they had chosen a doctor or practice over another based on reviews found online.
Quantity of reviews is considered alongside quality in today’s customer mindset, with 80% of respondents expecting five or more patient reviews on a location or physician in order to deem them trustworthy. In addition, 72% will only accept an average review of four stars or higher, highlighting the importance of not just good reviews but consistently good ones. Feedback to patient reviews also rated highly, with over 60% of those surveyed placing importance on healthcare providers’ public responses to reviews left online.
The report further states that brand or company loyalty is diminishing, with Google topping the list of places where consumers look for healthcare reviews. Overall, consumers trust practitioners less and less, with 70% of them trusting Google reviews over those on the provider’s own website.
“For decades, patients had incredibly close relationships with their doctors and for many, this bond spanned years and even generations. The days of brand loyalty are gone, especially as the pandemic continues, and we continue to see rapid change in care delivery models as well as consumer expectations,” said Annie Hafner Haarmann, Head of Strategy and Consulting, Healthcare and Life Sciences at Reputation, in a press release. “This is the same shift we have seen in other industries, where it’s become common to read reviews before buying a new product or review a restaurant’s menu before making a reservation. Healthcare consumers are using this information to make decisions about the services and providers that are the right fit for them.”