AANS Neurosurgeon | Volume 29, Number 1, 2020


Online Reviews of Spine Surgeons – Staff and Office Factors May Negatively Affect Ratings

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Spine surgeons earn high ratings for their skill and good clinical outcomes on internet review sites – but are more likely to receive negative ratings and comments on factors pertaining to clinic staff, billing, and wait times.

As online reviews and ratings become increasingly influential on healthcare decisions, surgeons and physicians need to account for the full range of factors that affect the patient care experience, according to new research, led by Chester J. Donnally III, MD, and colleagues of University of Miami Hospital. “As the leader of the healthcare team, surgeons should continue to take an active role in modifying factors a patient perceived as negative, even if these do not directly relate to the physician,” Dr. Donnally comments.

Fewer ‘Stars’ for Office/Staff Factors versus Surgeon Factors

The researchers analyzed the patient ratings of 210 Florida spine surgeons from three physician rating websites: Healthgrades, Vitals, and Google. Healthgrades and Vitals are dedicated healthcare review sites, while Google is a newer outlet for physician reviews. Including a total of 4,701 comments, the study is the largest evaluation of physician website reviews to date. About 60 percent of comments were from Vitals, 26 percent from Healthgrades, and 14 percent from Google.

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