Online Physician Reviews Don't Reflect Patient Satisfaction Surveys

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An improved mechanism for online ratings should be implemented to better inform patients about a physician's reputation.
An improved mechanism for online ratings should be implemented to better inform patients about a physician's reputation.

HealthDay News — Online physician reviews do not reflect patient satisfaction surveys (PSSs), according to a study published in the April issue of the Mayo Clinic Proceedings.

R. Jay Widmer, M.D., Ph.D., from the Mayo Clinic Center for Social Media in Rochester, Minn., and colleagues compared industry-vetted PSSs such as the Press Ganey (PG) PSS between physicians with and without negative reviews. From Sept. 1, 2014, to Dec. 31, 2014, 113 unique individuals with negative online reviews were identified and matched to 113 physicians in similar departments/divisions. PG PSS scores were obtained and compared for 98 physicians with negative online reviews and 82 matched physicians without negative reviews.

The researchers found that there was no difference between the mean raw PG PSS scores between the groups (4.05 versus 4.04; P = 0.92). No difference was seen for those with versus without poor online reviews in mean scores on questions related to physician-patient communication and interaction skills (4.38 versus 4.41; P = 0.42). A significantly lower non-physician-specific mean was seen for those with versus those without online negative reviews (3.91 versus 4.01; P = 0.02).

"It is prudent that an improved mechanism for online ratings be implemented to better inform patients about a physician's online reputation," the authors write.

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