Vitals grows as more consumers seek multiple indicators of doctor quality on the web
New Report Shows Online Doctor Review Sites Significantly Influence Consumers Perceptions About Their Doctors
When it comes to finding a doctor, more and more people view other patients’ feedback as important according to new research from Vitals, the creator of the first consumer marketplace for health care information. The report shows that 51 percent of people now use consumer ratings sites as a source of information.
With the growing popularity of online doctor finder sites, consumers can discover deeper background information about the doctors they’re researching and hear from more patients, which in turn, effects their decisions.
In the Vitals survey, 47 percent of the people who looked up a physician online felt differently about that doctor after viewing their profile. Forty percent said they felt reassured or more comfortable with their choice, while 7 percent said they felt the need to find a different doctor.
Vitals is a website that compiles millions of doctor reviews along with physician quality information from thousands of public sources to help consumers find a doctor. And, while people have used similar review and ratings sites to find restaurants and hotels for years, they are increasingly relying on these sites for their important health care decisions. Traffic to Vitals grew 77 percent in the first quarter of 2013, compared to the same period last year.
With the health care industry undergoing enormous change due in part to the Affordable Care Act, which will add millions of new Americans to the healthcare system. This will result in more of the cost being shifted to consumers by employers and health plans.
Other key findings of the study from Vitals included:
These results echo the 2012 Local Consumer Review Survey, which recently revealed a positive shift in consumer trust and appreciation of online reviews. Approximately 72 percent of consumers surveyed trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations
“Over the past decade, the internet has transferred power from the buyer to the seller in several different consumer sectors,” said Mitch Rothschild, CEO of Vitals. “We’re helping shape that transition in health care. Today people are more sensitive and inquisitive about both the quality and cost of the physician they see and the procedure being performed upfront. Other patients’ feedback on doctors has become a critical part of the process.”
The company is bracing for this new consumer-era of health care and has added several key executive hires, strengthening its management team. Those additions include: Ken Malley, president; Tony Bellomo as COO; Andrew Holz, VP of engineering; and Jeanne Wisniewski, chief human resources manager.
“To help us manage the need for transparency tools across the health care eco-system, we’re pleased to add experienced industry veterans to the Vitals’ management team,” continued Rothschild. “Their collective expertise allows us to focus on developing and delivering technology that adds value to this new consumer era of health care.”
Vitals aims to make better health possible. We build tools that enable people to make informed decisions about both the quality and cost of their medical care. Through health plans, hospitals, and our leading consumer websites, Vitals helps more than 150 million people each year access information for better, more affordable care.
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About the Vitals Survey: 1,000 responses were collected from April 29th to May 2 from users on Vitals physician profile pages.