Analyzing physicians ratings and reviews landscape of a developing country (Pakistan)
Keywords:Patient Reviews, Physician Ratings Websites (PRWs), Healthcare
Studies on online reviews and ratings of physicians by patients have so far been conducted only in the context of developed countries. Therefore, this study aims to identify popular Physicians Rating Websites (PRWs), study their characteristics and report prevalence, nature and distribution of online ratings and reviews in the context of a developing country (Pakistan). Most popular PRWs were identified and ratings and reviews were scraped using Link Klipper extension and Octoparse software. Scrapped data were then analyzed. Websites and their apps were explored and also a psychologist having profiles, ratings and reviews on chosen websites was also interviewed. Two PRWs (marham.pk and oladoc.com) are popular in Pakistan with an Alexa rank of less than 1000 in Pakistan at the time of the study, indicating high popularity. Oladoc has more profiles (15,069) as compared to Marham. However, it has less number of profiles with quantitative and narrative reviews, 23% and 11% as compared to 45% and 30.6% of Marham. Average ratings per rated doctor and average number of reviews per doctor are also greater on oladoc as compared to marham (66.32 and 22.93 as compared to 31.72 and 15.77), respectively. By removing profiles rated on both sites, there are 6,446 unique profiles on both sites which have received at least one rating which has been estimated to be about 3% of the doctors serving the country. It is concluded that online reviews and ratings of physicians is a new but increasing phenomenon. Many of the trends are issues in online ratings and reviews are same as those in the developed countries. As online reviews and ratings increase, the need to ensure objectivity and accuracy as well as user education will also increase, for which government bodies, professional associations of doctors and owners of PRWs will need to collaborate.
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