Reviews are for medical and dental professionals.

SEATTLE, Washington--Avvo, an expert-only health and legal Q&A forum and directory, has released an Avvo Health Advisory that provides new data about consumer reviews of medical and dental professionals.

Among Avvo’s users, more than 85% of patient reviews are positive and more than 80% say they would recommend their doctor to others. Furthermore, according to a recent Avvo survey, more than 60% of consumers cited patient reviews as a primary influencer when selecting a new doctor online. This ranked slightly behind disciplinary history as an important factor for consumers when considering and comparing medical professionals.

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Avvo identified trends and behaviors related to consumer’s review of medical and dental specialists.

“As online review sites gain in popularity there continues to be sensitivity about patient reviews in the medical community; however, the reality is that patient reviews tend to be positive and constructive,” said Mark Britton, founder and CEO at Avvo.

“While positive reviews generally focus on a physician’s compassion and bedside manner, long wait times and billing-related issues are a top factor in negative reviews.”

*A doctor’s bedside manner was the top factor cited in positive reviews. Bedside manner, willingness to listen and answer questions, and helping to explain conditions are the drivers for nearly 43% of positive reviews rather than the physician’s demonstrated knowledge. This was cited in just 10% of reviews.

* Ophthalmologists, plastic surgeons, and dermatologists received the highest percentage of positive reviews and ratings from consumers. Ophthalmologists received the highest positive rating with 88% of patients leaving a five-star review while plastic surgeons and dermatologists received 82% and 80% of positive five-star reviews, respectively.

Conversely, neurologists received the highest negative ratings with 34% of patient reviews receiving one-star, followed by psychiatrists with 32% of negative reviews.

* Long wait time for the doctor and billing issues are the leading factors in negative reviews for physicians and dentists. A long wait time was the most frequent issue cited in negative physician reviews. Complaints related to billing and dentists recommending work that was not necessary were the top factors in negative dental reviews.

* More than 83 percent of patients cited minimizing discomfort and an esthetically pleasing outcome in their positive dental reviews. Eighty-five percent of dentists on Avvo received a five-star rating and 87% of consumers said they would recommend their dentist to others.

Avvo provides users the ability to provide detailed reviews of their patient experiences, as well as rate their doctor’s or dentist’s performance on a five-star scale that addresses areas such as how the medical professional listens and address questions, professionalism, and office cleanliness.

Avvo maintains a process for evaluating patient reviews placed on the site to help ensure the highest level of integrity and objectivity. Reviews determined to be fraudulent are always removed from the site, and professionals on Avvo have the ability to respond to negative reviews.

Avvo’s first Health Advisory, published in March 2012, identified consumer trends related to the use of alcohol and prescription drug consumption, and can be found at www.avvo.com/about_avvo/Avvo-Releases-First-Health-Advisory-on-Alcohol-and-Drugs.

For more information, visit www.avvo.com.

To comment on this topic, go to community.pennwelldentalgroup.com/.

References available from company upon request.

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