Study: Online Patient Ratings Correlate With Better Hospital Care

Positive online patient ratings are associated with better hospital performance and higher quality of care, according to a new study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, CMIO reports.

About the Study

For the study, researchers from Imperial College London used a website run by the United Kingdom's National Health Service -- called NHS Choices -- to examine 10,274 hospital ratings posted between Jan. 1, 2009, and Dec. 31, 2010. They then compared the ratings to patient outcomes at 146 of the hospitals (Gale, CMIO, 2/14).

Measures of patient outcomes included:

  • Death rates;
  • Readmission rates; and
  • Rates of Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, also known as MRSA.

Study Findings

Compared with hospitals that received the worst patient ratings, the study found that the best-rated hospitals had:

  • 42% lower MRSA rates;
  • 11% lower readmission rates; and
  • 5% lower death rates (Zorlu, London Guardian, 2/14)

The study also found that 68% of all patients who rated a hospital said they would recommend the hospital to a friend. According to the study, hospitals that received such positive recommendations were more likely to have lower mortality rates for high-risk conditions and lower readmission rates (Gale, CMIO, 2/14).

Felix Greaves -- a physician and expert from Imperial College London's School of Public Health -- said that researchers found "the general trend is that where a hospital's overall performance on clinical measures is good, patients seem to rate it highly -- and vice versa" (Mason, London Telegraph, 2/15).

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