As an inhabitant of the digital age, online reviews of almost any service or commodity imaginable are readily accessible. And with things such as restaurants, online retailers, or movies, these reviews are great, allowing you to pick and choose so that you can get the best out of your money. But sometimes, the urge to seek online reviews can provide us with less than helpful results.
The truth about online reviews and doctors
According to studies and polls conducted by the JAMA, (The Journal of the American Medical Association), and the ACPE (American College of Physician Executives), sites which offer medical professional reviews are problematic for a number of reasons. First of all, many of the review sites simply have too little information in order to give an insightful perspective of healthcare professionals.
Many doctors only had a handful of reviews, if any; too few to base such an important decision on. In addition, many healthcare professionals find online reviews to be more of a nuisance than a help to patients. One of the most common problems with online reviews is the tendency for people who have bad experiences to 1) write more frequently than people who have favorable experiences, and 2) to sometimes over exaggerate just how bad the experience was.
For example, someone who goes to a restaurant and dislikes the food is much more likely to leave an online review than a person who has a good experience at that same restaurant. The same is true of reviews regarding healthcare professionals. It is no secret that doctors often have to give bad news to patients, and unfortunately this can lead to scathing reviews.
Understandably, some people may be angry upon receiving a diagnosis, or learning that they have a medical condition. Sometimes, however, patients choose to channel this anger into poor online reviews for their doctor. Here are a few things to consider when looking at online reviews:
· Bear in mind that many experiences are subjective, and should be cautiously reviewed to determine the veracity of the account given. Keywords such as “worst ever,” or “best ever,” are often indicators of exaggeration.
· Remember to favor text over simple ratings such as “stars” or numbers out of ten. Often times, the text will have a more detailed explanation of the patient’s experience, allowing you to decide for yourself.
· Be aware that not all reviewers are trustworthy, but that good advice can sometimes be found on the sites if you look hard enough. Don’t take every word at face value, but do look for patterns where lots of people agree.
Online reviews can be helpful, but should probably be weighed alongside other information. One of the best ways to find a good doctor is to ask people you trust. You can also check with local hospitals to see who is affiliated. You can check state run medical board records for certifications, educational details and the like. Need a well-qualified doctor? Get the care you need, when you need it, at Patient Care Now Urgent Care. For more information, please call our Fairless Hills urgent care center at (267) 202-6433, or check in online.