Are doctor ratings websites the way of the future for choosing a physician?

When making decisions about which movie to see, what mechanic to call, or which restaurant to choose, many people look online for ratings and reviews from other consumers. Ratings websites give people the opportunity to share about their experiences with a product or service – and these real world reviews may weigh heavily on people’s decision-making.

But what about online ratings for doctors? Do parents use ratings websites when choosing a physician for their children? According to a study published this week in the journal Pediatrics, they do. Almost three-quarters of parents said they are aware of physician ratings websites and more than a quarter of parents have used online ratings to choose a healthcare provider for their children.

This study was part of a National Poll on Children’s Health asking parents about their experiences with online ratings websites and how much online ratings factor into their decisions about their children’s healthcare providers. One-quarter of parents said that a doctor’s rating on websites is a very important factor in selecting a doctor for their children. But half of parents said word of mouth is very important. Read the full report: How to select a child’s doctor? Parents prefer grapevine to online.

Infographic: Parents' opinions on important factors in selecting a doctor for their children
View full size image | See other children's health infographics

What do you think?:
Do rating websites play a role in your decision about healthcare for your child? Share your experiences in the comments or on Facebook and Twitter!