Healthgrades is a healthcare review site for physicians, medical practices, and hospitals. It is one of the most popular healthcare review sites among patients.
Can practices have a listing, or is the site just for physicians? Both individual physicians and group practices can have listings on Healthgrades. Individual physician listings can even be linked to group practice listings.
Can physicians set up their own profiles? Physicians and practices should already be listed on the site; Healthgrades uses hundreds of government and commercially-available sources to obtain information about practicing physicians. However, physicians and practices can update and add to the information to their profiles.
Are patients required to create an account to leave a review? Patients are not required to create an account on Healthgrades, but they must submit an email address or mobile phone number to confirm the review.
Is there a cost for physicians / patients to use this site? Healthgrades is free for both physicians and patients. Paid advertising opportunities are available for physicians and practices.
How the Rating System Works
Ratings are based on a 5-star system. Healthgrades designed the survey categories to answer the questions that patients most want to know when they are looking for a physician. Patients are required to give an overall rating based on how likely they are to recommend the physician / practice, but also have the option to rate the physicians / practices in 7 other categories:
- Ease of scheduling urgent appointments
- Office environment, cleanliness, comfort, etc.
- Staff friendliness and courteousness
- Level of trust in provider’s decisions
- How well provider explains medical condition(s)
- How well provider listens and answers questions
- Spends appropriate amount of time with patients
Patients are also asked to provide a wait time, gender, and age group, but that information is also optional. However, patients are required to indicate the number of office visits they have had over the past 2 years. More recently, Healthgrades began offering the option to provide written comments along with reviews also, but written reviews are not required. Healthgrades limits the number of surveys a user can complete per physician or practice.
How Physicians Can Use the Site
Physicians and practices can claim their profiles for free to add and update information and respond to reviews. Because Healthgrades works to ensure all information is correct and current, it can take up to three days for changes to be displayed. Physicians and practices can add information about insurances accepted, care philosophy, conditions treated, procedures performed, and photos. Doctors and practices can also post a general response to reviews, which is displayed on the Patient Survey section of the profile.
It’s also worth noting that there is a “Background Check” section on each physician’s Healthgrades profile with information on sanctions and medical board actions, as well as malpractice suits (in some states). While physicians are unable to remove this information from their profiles, it is still something to be aware of.
If the Healthgrades system shows that several individual physicians are tied to the same practice, all of the listings can be managed via one account. Healthgrades also offers advertising opportunities, but you must contact them to learn more.
Handling False Reviews
Healthgrades requires validation for every survey submitted. They require confirmation via an email address or mobile number, and they test for spam before the review can be posted. Healthgrades also has an editorial team that reads each review before it is published to help spot any red flags in the review. If a provider suspects a falsified survey, they can report it to the Healthgrades customer service team for further investigation.
According to Healthgrades, the majority of reviews on the site are positive. However, if a couple of negative reviews are driving down your average, Healthgrades recommends encouraging more patients to complete the survey. Healthgrades offers postcards upon request with personalized links that providers can hand to patients after an appointment. The link will take the patient to the provider’s profile to complete the survey.
Popularity in Search Results
We looked at a few different metrics to determine Healthgrades’ popularity in search results. First, we looked at the Alexa Score. The Alexa Score is a ranking of the most popular and highly-visited websites, based on the amount of traffic the site has. In the U.S., Healthgrades has an Alexa score of 560, meaning it is the 560th most popular website in the country.
Next, we looked to Moz, an SEO software service, to determine the root domains linking to Healthgrades. This number tells us how many other websites are linking to Healthgrades. According to Moz, 272,298 other sites are linking to Healthgrades.
Finally, we turned to another SEMRush, another SEO tool, to get an estimate of the monthly organic traffic to the site. According to SEMRush, Healthgrades has about 4,300,000 organic visits per month. This number only includes visitors who found Healthgrades organically and does not include visits from paid search and advertising.