NEW YORK, Oct. 13 (UPI) -- The first annual Digital Doctor Survey indicates most U.S. physicians and other healthcare providers monitor online reviews about themselves.
The survey of ZocDoc's network of healthcare providers which included primary care doctors, dentists, obstetricians, gynecologists, dermatologists, podiatrists, dietitians and cardiologists found 85 percent looked at their online reviews while 36 percent looked at their competitors' reviews as well.
Officials at ZocDoc, a service that helps patients receive faster access to care and optimizes doctors' schedules, said the survey suggested online reviews might significantly affect patients' decisions when choosing their healthcare providers. ZocDoc's survey results show that the physicians were keenly aware of this.
Additionally, ZocDoc asked physicians to rank the fairness of online reviews on a scale of 1-10 and found:
-- 23 percent said they're very fair with a rating of 8-10.
-- 62 percent said they're fair with a rating of 4-7.
-- 15 percent said they're not fair with a rating of 1-3.
ZocDoc found 53 percent of physicians surveyed have a Facebook account for their practice, 34 percent used Google+, 28 percent used LinkedIn and 21 percent used Twitter. Overall social media usage was 22 percent higher among physicians between the ages of 26-55 than among physicians ages 56-75.
The survey of 360 healthcare providers was conducted in July. No margin of error was provided.