Modern Physician: Doctors Skeptical Of Online Ratings

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January 16, 2013

“Doctors Skeptical Of Online Ratings, ACPE Survey Finds”

Andis Robeznieks, Modern Physician

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According to a survey of physician executives, doctors are still highly skeptical of online ratings from patients and don’t think many patients consult them—but most acknowledge that they have checked out their own profiles.

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The American College of Physician Executives sent the survey (PDF) to more than 5,600 of its almost 11,000 members, with about 730 responding in October and November last year.

Only 21% believed that more than half of U.S. patients consulted an online-rating site, with 55% believing only one-quarter of patients or fewer had done so. That said, 69% of survey respondents acknowledged seeing what had been said about them online.

Of those, the most-viewed site was Health Grades, which had been visited by 89% of respondents; Vitals was a distant second and was visited by 33% of the respondents. These were followed by Angies List, visited by 19%; Yelp, 13%; and Doctor Scorecard and Rate MDs, which were both visited by 9% of respondents.

Rate MDs, one of the oldest physician-ratings websites, was the subject a study last year in the Journal of Medical Internet Research, which analyzed 386,000 reviews between 2005 and 2010 and found that “Online ratings appear to be driven by patients who are delighted with their physicians.”

In that study, one in six doctors had been rated, with an average of 3.2 patient ratings each—but nearly half had been rated by only one patient. On a one-to-five scale assessing helpfulness and knowledge, the average individual physician rating was a 3.9.

Of the physicians in the ACPE survey who acknowledged viewing their personal online ratings, 42% said they partially agreed with them, 39% said they agreed with their rating, and 19% said they didn’t agree.

When asked to rate the value of physician-rating websites on a 0-to-10 scale, ACPE survey respondents gave them an average score of 3.2.

“Healthcare, like most other industries, has clearly entered an era where measurement and reporting have increasing importance,” Dr. Peter Angood, CEO of ACPE, said in a news release. “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.”

Physicians have been warned not to respond too combatively to negative online reviews and cite the case of Dr. David McKee, a neurologist from Duluth, Minnesota, who filed a defamation lawsuit against Dennis Laurion, the son of one of McKee’s patients, who posted negative online reviews about him. Oral arguments were heard before the Minnesota State Supreme Court in September and a decision is still pending, but it’s believed the lawsuit has given Laurion’s negative reviews more attention than they ever would have received otherwise.

SOURCE

Defendant Dennis Laurion’s Web Posting

Defendant Dennis Laurion’s Patient Complaint

Plaintiff David McKee’s Reply To Patient Complaint

Plaintiff David McKee’s Cease And Desist Letter To Defendant Dennis Laurion

Defendant Dennis Laurion’s Complaint To Minnesota Board Of Medical Practice

Plaintiff David McKee’s Complaint To Sixth Judicial District Duluth Court

Plaintiff David McKee’s Response To Minnesota Board Of Medical Practice

Defendant Dennis Laurion’s Answer To Plaintiff David McKee’s Complaint

Defendant Dennis Laurion’s Motion For Summary Judgment

Defendant Dennis Laurion’s Deposition Extracts

Plaintiff David McKee’s Deposition Testimony About Circumstances Before Encounter With Laurion Family

Plaintiff David McKee’s Deposition Testimony About Encounter With Laurion Family

Plaintiff David McKee’s Deposition Testimony About Circumstances After Encounter With Laurion Family

Plaintiff David McKee’s Deposition Testimony In Response To Questions By Marshall Tanick

Affidavits By Defendant Dennis Laurion’s Parents

Defendant Dennis Laurion’s Supplemental Motion For Summary Judgment

Plaintiff David McKee’s Motion To Oppose Summary Judgment

Defendant Dennis Laurion’s Reply Memo In Support Of Motion For Summary Judgment

Sixth Judicial District Court’s Order On Motion For Summary Judgment

Plaintiff David McKee’s Appeal Of Order On Motion For Summary Judgment

Plaintiff David McKee’s Brief To Minnesota Court Of Appeals

Defendant Dennis Laurion’s Brief To Minnesota Court Of Appeals

Plaintiff David McKee’s Reply Brief To Minnesota Court Of Appeals

Minnesota Court Of Appeals Order To Strike Portion Of Plaintiff David McKee’s Reply Brief

Minnesota Court Of Appeals Announces Decision

Defendant Dennis Laurion’s Petition For Review By Minnesota Supreme Court

Plaintiff David McKee’s Opposition To Review By Minnesota Supreme Court

Defendant Dennis Laurion’s Brief To Minnesota Supreme Court

Plaintiff David McKee’s Brief To Minnesota Supreme Court

Defendant Dennis Laurion’s Reply Brief To Minnesota Supreme Court

Minnesota Supreme Court Decision On David McKee MD V. Dennis K. Laurion

David McKee MD v. Dennis Laurion 2010

David McKee MD v. Dennis Laurion 2011

David McKee MD v. Dennis Laurion 2012

David McKee MD v. Dennis Laurion 2013

McKee V Laurion Is A Textbook Case

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