Patient Study on Online Reviews

A recent survey comprised of 4,620 U.S. patients was conducted to discover what sites they’re using, and how they’re using them, here’s what they found:

•Significantly more patients (42%) are using online reviews in 2014 than in 2013, a 68% growth YOY.

•Yelp is the most popular review site (27%), but ties with HealthGrades for most trusted.

•Nearly half of respondents (44%) would go out-of-network for a doctor that has more favorable reviews.


Incerease in Patient Usage of Online Reviews

The same survey was conducted in 2013 and found that only 25% of respondents reported using online reviews. However in 2014, this amount jumped to 42 percent – indicating a 68 percent increase from the previous year. The range of use varied from ‘often/sometimes’ to ‘rarely’. (In which 18 percent reported the latter, while 24 percent reported the former.)

Patients’ Frequency of Using Review Sites

Frequency revised - Online reviews 2014

Yelp is Most Commonly Utilized Review Site; Healthgrades and RateMDs Right Behind

Not surprisingly, Yelp was the top contender at 27% when it came to the most used review site. Healthgrades and RateMDs trailed closely behind, both at 26%.

An important note: RateMDs was not included in the 2013 version of the survey, but still showed a strong prevalence in the 2014 survey.

According to the report, “This data suggests that doctors who diversify their online presence and list themselves on multiple sites may have an advantage over their colleagues in both attracting new patients and retaining existing ones.”

This has long been one of our philosophies here at ReviewInc.

Most Used Review Sites

Most Used - Online Review Sites 2014

Good Reviews Prove to Be Equal in Importance as Being In-Network

Not only has the amount of patients using online reviews risen significantly, but the significance of online reviews for patients has increased as well. Nearly half of respondents (44%, to be exact), reported the willingness to visit an out-of-network doctor if they had better online reviews than those that were in-network.

This is a significant jump from 26% reported in 2013.

Willingness to Go Out-of-Network Based on Reviews

Out of network - Online reviews 2014

The study was conducted by Software Advice.  For full report, please contact us at