Many physicians have been reluctant to embrace physician evaluation websites due to the overwhelming number of physician evaluation websites, and concerns about negative anonymous feedback.
Dr David Johnson and colleagues from Virginia, USA provide perspective for the vast array of physician evaluation websites, website features and user characteristics, and identify the most notable websites which merit attention from physicians concerned about their online reputations.
The research team reported that 35 physician evaluation websites met criteria for inclusion in the analysis.
Each website was studied to assess its geographic focus, detailed features of physician profiles, nature of patient-generated reviews, number of monthly site visitors, and other points including user demographics and characteristics.
The team observed that most physician evaluation websites provide their services free-of-charge, and physicians are usually allowed to create and enhance online profiles without payment.
|A few websites allow physicians to respond to negative patient reviews|
|American Journal of Gastroenterology|
Anonymous posting of reviews is an almost universal feature of physician evaluation websites, but most reviews are positive.
A few websites allow physicians to respond publicly or privately to negative patient reviews.
The research team identified these and other notable websites.
Dr Johnson's team concludes, "Physician evaluation websites have tremendous potential to help doctors and patients."
"With this review as a guide, physicians should collaborate with physician evaluation websites to harness their potential, to improve clinical practices, and to attract new patients."
"As physicians increasingly interact with the most “doctor-friendly” physician evaluation websites, this collaboration could motivate other websites to implement changes that give physicians greater control over their online reputations."
"The era of doctors avoiding online evaluations is closing, and in the future, physicians who embrace physician evaluation websites are most likely to succeed."