DENVER, Dec. 20, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Patients are much more likely to both publicly praise and protest their experiences with doctors in online reviews than they are with restaurants and hotels, an analysis completed by Vanguard Communications of 1.5 million online Yelp reviews finds.
While doctors, hotels and restaurants each average a 3.5-star rating out of five stars possible on the business review website Yelp.com, a doctor is 64% more likely to receive a five-star review but 194% more likely to receive a one-star review, according to research conducted by Technical Director Jonathan Stanley of Vanguard Communications, a national healthcare marketing and practice management consulting firm.
See research findings at LoveOrHateDoctors.com
The data suggests that while people's experiences with doctors are distinctly polarizing, their expectations of restaurants and hotels are more nuanced, explained Stanley.
"Given the findings, a disappointing appetizer or a noisy corner room doesn't appear as upsetting to restaurant and hotel patrons as a physician's poor bedside manner or a billing error might be to a patient," Stanley said.
Doctors' online reviews carry five times the impact
However, the findings indicate that doctors' online reviews do not rate generally better or worse than other businesses. Rather, the polarizing effects of a disappointing patient experience are more dangerous to medical practices than other businesses.
On average, a hotel receives 61 reviews and restaurants 27 reviews, but doctors average only 13. The result is that each online review for a doctor carries as much as five times more impact toward a medical practice's overall rating.
Doctors online reviews have the least to do with medical care
Prior research by Vanguard has found that disorganization, poor communication and other customer service complaints are the dominant ratings issues for doctors' offices and hospitals.
"In the online age," said Ron Harman King, CEO of Vanguard Communications, "healthcare consumers demand not just good clinical care but also customer service as good as that of four- and five-star hotels and restaurants."
Overall, doctors' online reviews are more positive than negative
While physicians may feel unfairly attacked online, patients are almost twice as likely statistically to give doctors good marks online as poor ones. Prior Vanguard research of 34,748 online patient reviews found that 66 percent awarded five and five stars, while only 34 percent gave one and two stars.
Research by the Pew Research Center has found that patients research healthcare online similarly to how they investigate the purchase of cars, homes or other big-ticket items – by starting at a search engine. They form initial perceptions based on a doctor's internet presence, including online reviews, the practice's website, and social media.
Media Contact: Lisa Long | 303-382-2999 | [email protected]
SOURCE Vanguard Communications