Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Survey Results: Are Web-Based Patient Rating Systems Bad for Patient Health?


For many people, it’s second nature to share their opinions about a recent experience. Travelers rate their hotels, diners rank their restaurant meals, and online shoppers share reviews about their favorite (or least favorite) products. Healthcare is no exception—it’s common to see reviews on various websites that cover everything from patient care to bedside manner, office wait times to interactions with staff members in the practice.

These reviews don’t go unnoticed: Around 6 in 10 patients say they rely on online ratings to select a healthcare provider—potentially helpful for some physicians, but bad news for others.

To gain a clear understanding of how both patients and physicians feel about patient satisfaction ratings, we surveyed over 190 physicians and over 500 patients. To enable us to better understand the perceived efficacy of and consequences of patient satisfaction surveys, our study focused on the following questions:

● Do patients and physicians agree on the usefulness of patient satisfaction surveys?
● What impact do patient satisfaction ratings have on physicians in the U.S.?
● Do patients believe their ratings should impact physicians’ compensation?
● Where do patients find gaps in the quality of their physicians’ services?

Read on to get the big picture about this sometimes controversial topic.

First Report: Are Patient Ratings Helpful?

We surveyed 508 Americans who self-identified as patients and 196 self-reported physicians. We employed a non-randomized convenience sampling methodology for recruitment of participants via Amazon’s Mechanical Turk service. Demographic variables reported include ages ranging from 18 to 71, with 48.03% self-identified males and 51.77% self-identified females for patient responses. Demographic variables reported include ages ranging from 25 to 65+, with 69.65% self-identified males and 30.35% self-identified females for physician responses. All participants were residents of the U.S., representing all states and the District of Columbia except for Hawaii, Rhode Island, North Dakota and Wyoming (for patient responses) and Alaska, Delaware, Hawaii, Maine, Mississippi, New Hampshire, New Mexico and West Virginia (for physician responses).


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