Physician-rating websites have serious limitations, study finds

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Nearly 60 percent of patients say online reviews are important to them when choosing a new physician, but according to a research letter in JAMA, the websites commonly used by patients to find a new clinician have significant limitations.

 

Researchers identified 28 physician rating websites and then searched each website for reviews of a random pool of 600 physicians in Boston, Dallas and Portland, Ore.

Here are six findings from their research:

"These results demonstrate that it is difficult for a prospective patient to find (for any given physician on any commercial physician-finding website) a quantity of reviews that would accurately relay the experience of care with that physician," the study authors wrote.

"Methods that use systematic data collection (eg, surveys) may have a greater chance of amassing a sufficient quantity and quality of reviews to allow patients to make inferences about patient experience of care," the authors concluded.

More articles on physician ratings:
UAB Health System unveils physician ratings
Swedish Covenant Hospital posts patient reviews online
Healthgrades unveils redesigned consumer website

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