Care Quality, Technology Use, and Online Patient Perception

AbstractThe literature on the efficacy of online reviews suggests that such reviews are usually effective in informing consumers about the product or service. This mitigates information asymmetry, paving the way for an efficient marketplace. However, the literature is unclear about the usefulness of online reviews in the healthcare context. Since healthcare is largely a credence good, it is indeed possible that online reviews are not as informative in its case as they are in some others. In this work, we take a closer look at what online physician reviews actually capture, by studying the association between online reputation of a physician and her adherence to clinical guidelines. We also study the association between reputation and electronic health record (EHR) usage. Our results reveal that online reputation does not adequately reflect care quality, in the sense that improved adherence to care guidelines does not seem to be associated with better online reviews. However, EHR usage seems to have a somewhat positive association, suggesting that reviews can capture efficiency improvements from information technology even when they do not capture care quality.


Return to previous page