Patients Value Personal Interactions with Their Providers: An Analysis of 7M Reviews Confirms

Non-clinical factors like time spent with providers, interactions with staff, ease of appointment, etc., are among the most important things that your patients take into consideration when reviewing you just after their visit. These are the findings of a sentiment analysis jointly conducted by the Healthgrades, and the non-profit Medical Group of Management Association (MGMA). Researchers from the two organizations examined over 7 million online reviews by patients on Healthgrades. The major findings of the sentiment analysis are:
  • More than half (52%) of the patients cited factors such as compassion, comfort, patience, personality, and bedside manner very important during their interaction with their providers. Nearly one-fourth (23%) of patients referenced knowledge, time, insurance, appointment scheduling, and communication as the most important factors.

[We found similar results about patients' emotions regarding their visit in our Patient Sentiment Benchmark Study that was conducted on over 50,000 urgent care, dental, and primary care patients just last year.

In the analysis, we found that patients who gave positive ratings were frequently using words like caring, friendly, professional, knowledgeable, listened, and helpful. While the patients who rated negatively referenced to words like wait, pain, hours, disappointed, terrible, etc. with high frequency.]

  • An interesting finding is regarding how patients rate their providers by genders. The analysis suggests that female patients rate their male providers slightly more favorably than male patients, who rate their providers almost similarly (irrespective of their gender).
  • The patient feedback about their doctors is found to be overwhelmingly positive. Almost 70% of the nearly 7 million submitted star ratings on Healthgrades are 5-stars, and the overall average star rating for a doctor is 4-stars.
  • One of the biggest factors that patients mentioned in their open comments (positive or negative) is the time spent with their providers, especially in terms of how willful providers were to answer questions and make sure that the patients fully understood their condition or procedure.
  • In the text analysis of the most commonly used phrases in both positive and negative open-comment reviews on Healthgrades, office staff interactions rise to the top.
Read the complete analysis.It’s clear from the data what most people already intuitively know: the patient experience extends deeper and further than the walls of a surgical suite or exam room. Our data corroborates the crucial nature of our members’ role in the support of the physician-patient relationship through people, process and technology,” says Dr. Halee Fischer-Wright, MD, MMM, and President and CEO, MGMA. The analysis also suggests that in most cases, patients do not describe specific treatment or outcomes, even after visiting a surgical specialist. The reviews that do mention them, the reference is typically incidental to the personal and emotional support from the providers. “Patient affinity for a provider increases with the stakes of the care provided. The more risk associated with a treatment or procedure, the more patients depend on doctors and their staff members to provide emotional support along with medical expertise,” says Bill Wyatt, VP of Data Science, Healthgrades.

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