Hospital and doctor review sites have not yet become health care decision-making tools for most consumers. One national survey found that only 6% of American adults are aware of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid’s Hospital Compare tool. Our current survey finds a similarly low usage of such sites among adult internet users, matching trends we first reported in 2009.
- 16% of internet users have consulted online rankings or reviews of doctors or other providers.
- 15% of internet users have consulted online rankings or reviews of hospitals or other medical facilities.
- 4% of internet users have posted a review online of a doctor.
- 3% of internet users have posted a review online of a hospital.
Again, caregivers are more likely than other groups to engage in these activities. For example, 21% of online caregivers consult online doctor reviews, compared with 13% of internet users not currently caring for a loved one. Twenty percent of online caregivers consult online hospital reviews, compared with 12% of other internet users.
Eighteen percent of internet users living with one or more chronic conditions have looked online for doctor rankings or reviews, compared with 14% of internet users who report no conditions. Six percent of internet users living with chronic disease have posted such a review, compared with 3% of those who report no conditions. Both of those differences are statistically significant, but more importantly, they are significant because of the context of who is most likely to be a frequent health care consumer: someone living with a chronic condition.
Internet users living with disability do not report a higher or lower likelihood to consult hospital rankings and doctor reviews. However, they are more likely than other internet users to post reviews of doctors and other health professionals online: 8% do so, compared with 4% of those who report no disability.