Mott Children’s Hospital in Michigan asked a national sample of parents what factors were important in selecting their doctor. The title of the survey was “How to Select a Child’s Doctor? Parents prefer Grapevine to Online.”

The survey concluded: “Currently, doctor rating websites are not perceived to be as important as other types of information as parents make decisions for their children’s healthcare.”

In order of what was ranked as very important:

  1. Accepts my health insurance (92%)
  2. Convenient office location (65%)
  3. Doctor’s years of experience (52%)
  4. Word of mouth (family/ friend) (50%)
  5. Referral from another doctor (40%)
  6. Doctor’s rating on websites (25%)

The survey’s data actually demonstrate that online reviews do matter. A lot.

The patient first needs to find the doctor. In that respect, word of mouth, referral from another doctor, and online information not far from one another in being perceived as very important.

Further, different demographics are using different sources to find their doctors.

In this survey:

Mothers (30%) were more likely than fathers (19%) to think such online doctor ratings were very important. In addition, parents under age 30 (44%) were more likely than parents 30 or older (21%) to think doctor rating websites are very important.

“The times are a changing.”