March 5, 2009

Researching (and Reviewing) Doctors Online

Radha Chitale’s story, “Docs Say Keep Mum but Some Patients Want to Tell All” on ABCNews.com cites our data to show how many people look online for information about doctors and hospitals:

74% of adults in the U.S. go online and, of those, 80% look for health information online. 29% of internet users have looked online for information about a particular doctor or hospital. (See: The Engaged E-patient Population and Online Health Search 2006). We will have an update on those numbers this spring.

Chitale also quotes e-Patient Dave deBronkart who started a conversation about RateMDs.com and Medical Justice on e-patients.net.

It is a fairly common practice to search for information about someone else — half of internet users have done so, including 11% who searched for someone they are thinking about hiring (see our report, Digital Footprints). But is there a limit to how people should use search engines and rating sites? Some doctors are suggesting that yes, there is, and it starts with them.