Factors Patients Weigh When Choosing a Provider - A Study

Selecting a healthcare provider is one of the most crucial decisions individuals make for their well-being. In the world of healthcare consumerism, patients are faced with numerous choices, each one crucial to their well-being. Patients are mainly relying on trusted advice and financial prudence, recommendations from close circles instill confidence, online searches and many more. Moreover, online reviews are playing a significant role, guiding decisions effectively in the digital age.

So, what factors truly influence patients when choosing a provider? A recent study has shed light on this matter, revealing key elements that weigh on the minds of patients as they navigate this important decision.

Selecting Healthcare Providers - Stats (Total exceeds 100% because multiple mentions were allowed)
Source: RepuGen Survey 2022

Let's explore these key findings to understand what truly matters when individuals select their healthcare provider.

1. Recommendations Carry Weight:

58% of patients relied on recommendations from family and friends. This indicates the immense trust patients place in the experiences and insights of their close circles. Word-of-mouth referrals evidently play a pivotal role in guiding healthcare choices.

2. Trust in the Medical Community:

Nearly 57% of patients considered referrals from other medical professionals. Recommendations from doctors and healthcare experts hold substantial influence, emphasizing the trust patients have in the judgment of those within the medical community.

3. Network Matters:

For 50% of patients, the distinction between in-network and out-of-network providers was a crucial factor. Financial prudence and insurance coverage significantly impact the decision-making process, indicating that patients are mindful of the economic aspects of their healthcare choices.

4. The Importance of Online Reviews:

In the digital age, 37% of patients turned to online reviews. These reviews, often from fellow patients, provide valuable insights into the quality of care and overall patient experience. The prominence of online platforms in shaping healthcare decisions cannot be ignored.

5. Reputation and Expertise:

31% of patients considered how well known the doctor is in their field. This emphasizes the importance of a provider's reputation and expertise, indicating that patients prefer specialists who are recognized and respected within their respective medical fields.

6. Board Certification Adds Credibility:

For 23% of patients, whether a doctor is board certified or not was a significant factor. Board certification serves as a testament to a provider's expertise and skills, instilling confidence in patients regarding the quality of care they can expect.

7. Online Presence (Websites):

A provider's online presence, including their website, influenced 22% of patients. Websites serve as a valuable source of information, offering insights into a provider's services, specialties, and overall approach to healthcare.

8. Academic Credentials

The university where the provider received their certification was a factor for 12% of patients. Patients often consider the reputation and standards of the educational institution, seeking assurance in the quality of education and training their healthcare provider has received.


To sum it up, the study's findings reveal the pivotal factors influencing patients when selecting a healthcare provider: recommendations from trusted sources, financial considerations, online reviews, provider reputation, certifications, and digital presence. Providers aiming to connect with patients should prioritize building a strong reputation, fostering relationships in the medical community, and maintaining a robust online presence. Understanding these key factors equips both patients and providers to navigate the healthcare landscape with confidence and clarity.


Ajay Prasad

Ajay Prasad is the Founder and President of GMR Web Team, a leading healthcare digital marketing agency. He guides small and medium size healthcare practices/businesses in customizing their online marketing strategy, focused on building a loyal base of patients and improving their patient acquisition. Ajay believes in an improved patient experience as the key to successful healthcare business, which can be accomplished with the right marketing plan in place.

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