Few patients check online rankings

June 25, 2011

Relatively few Americans consult online rankings or reviews of hospitals and physicians.

Relatively few Americans consult online rankings or reviews of hospitals and physicians, according to a new study by the Pew Research Center.

Only 15% of people who use the Web for health-related purposes have checked rankings or reviews for hospitals or other facilities, with 16% checking on physicians or clinicians. Four percent of users have posted online reviews of doctors or hospitals, according to the study.

Physicians have criticized online rankings, arguing that they are often inaccurate and difficult to rebut. The Pew poll found that Americans are much more likely to use the Web to research medical diseases and conditions than to check on specific providers.