Updated November 11, 2011
Update November 11, 2011: Some attentive readers (Jason Lotkowictz and Irving Weiss) noticed our data on Healthgrades was incorrect. It turns our our Healthgrades ratings were mistakenly calculated as reviews. The data and findings below have been corrected.
It seems like nearly every day another website is coming out with the ability to rate/review doctors. We know that many of these sites never end up amounting to much besides a lot of empty review pages for doctors. Since we just recently started tracking our 3,000th review profile, we thought it would be interesting to look at the data we have collected to see which of the 18 review sites we monitor actually has the most reviews.
First a little about the data. The data we used in the report is collecting from the 3,000+ doctor review profiles we monitor on the top 18 review sites. We determine which are the top review sites by tracking the search results in Google to see which sites Google is pulling reviews from. After all when a prospective patient Googles your name, we feel the review sites that appear in the search results are the most important. There are many other sites we don’t track — this is mostly due to the fact that Google doesn’t use their reviews and they really don’t have any reviews to show anyhow.
So when doctors sign up for our review tracking tool, we begin monitoring the top 18 review sites for reviews that belong to that doctor. After running through this process for the past 11 months, we have collected a large amount of data on which review sites are being used.
So on to the results. I found the results of our analysis quite interesting. If I had been asked yesterday which review sites receive the most reviews, I would likely have answered with Google, Vitals, or RealSelf. As you can see from the results below, healthgrades.com has by far the most patient ratings. And RateMDs.com has the most patient reviews. For our use we consider ratings to be a points or star system where the patient “rates” the doctor 1-5 or or out of 5 stars. And reviews are where the patient can actually share opinions by writing an actual “review”
Now with over 1M MDs in the US alone, our sample size is relatively small. As we continue to track reviews for new MDs and our data grows, it will be interesting to see if these results change. Or if 6 months from now we have a new leader that isn’t on the carts today.
In doing the update we also noticed our definitions of ratings and reviews are quite as clean as we had hoped. Some sites now are integrating ratings with reviews. If we update this data in the future, we may specify a 3rd hybrid category.
Since we have upgraded our commenting system from Facebook comments, I have included a screenshot of Jason and Irving’s comments below.