Most Physicians Wary of Online Ratings From Patients, Report Finds

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A majority of surveyed physicians have expressed skepticism about online ratings from patients, but many admit to checking such rating websites, according to a report from the American College of Physician Executives, FierceHealthIT reports (Bowman, FierceHealthIT, 1/17).

About the Report

The report is based on 730 responses to a survey sent to 5,600 ACPE members in October and November of last year (Robeznieks, Modern Physician, 1/16).

Most of the respondents were chief medical officers and medical directors of health care organizations (Baum, MedCity News, 1/17).

Physician Views on the Websites

Only 12% of surveyed physicians said they believe that patients' online reviews are helpful (ACPE release, 1/16). The survey also found that:

  • 55% of surveyed physicians said they believe that no more than one-quarter of patients consult online physician ratings (Modern Physician, 1/16); and
  • About 25% said that they believe the websites provide no benefit and are a nuisance (MedCity News, 1/17).

When asked to evaluate the value of physician rating websites on a scale of 0 to 10 -- with 10 representing the most value -- respondents gave the sites an average score of 3.2.

Physician Views About Their Own Ratings

Sixty-nine percent of respondents acknowledged having viewed their online ratings from patients. Of the physicians who had viewed their online ratings:

  • 42% said that they partially agreed with the ratings;
  • 39% said that they agreed with the ratings; and
  • 19% said that they disagreed with the ratings (Modern Physician, 1/16).

Comments on Report

Peter Angood, CEO of ACPE, said, "Health care, like most other industries, has clearly entered an era where measurement and reporting have increasing importance."

He said, "This important new survey illustrates the strong concern among physician leaders about the quality and integrity of current reporting strategies and the data they are based upon" (ACPE release, 1/16).


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