Here’s DrScore’s latest news release on data collected about seniors rating doctors online. http://bit.ly/bBo7rg
Online rating of doctors is a relatively new thing. DrScore, one of the first doctor rating Web sites, has now been collecting data for seven years. Online doctor ratings are used by patients to assess what patients think of their doctors and, importantly, to give feedback to doctors on what doctors and their staff are doing well and what they can do better.
Older Americans are among the most frequent users of medical care. In the United States, about one in four medical office visits are by patients 65 and older.* Over half the medical office visits are by people age 45 and higher. The quality of medical care is of prime importance to older Americans.
We analyzed data from the DrScore.com Web site to find out which patients are most likely to rate their doctors. Most of the online ratings come from younger people. While 55 percent of offices visits are by people 45 years old or older, these patients account for only 15 percent of doctor ratings. Young adults (age 18-44) are about 30 times as likely to rate their visit to the office as are people 65 years of age or older!
There may be several reasons why older patients, the ones who would benefit most from enhancing the quality of medical care, aren’t participating in online doctor rating more often. Access to the Internet may be one factor, though Internet access is rapidly increasing among seniors. Another possibility is that seniors may have a different attitude about doctors than younger people do; many seniors may not feel it is there place to tell a doctor how they felt about the quality of the office visit. If true, this is disappointing, as seniors have special needs that doctors need to be aware of.
Seniors know the importance of voting in political contests. Rating doctors isn’t altogether different, as doctors need to hear seniors’ voices to know how to tailor their medical services to best meet the needs of their senior patients.
*Data on U.S. medical office visits were obtained from the National Ambulatory Medical Care survey performed by the National Center for Health Statistics.