Better Online Provider Reviews Linked to Higher Clinical Outcomes
Topic: Better Online Provider Reviews Linked to Higher Clinical Outcomes
The better online provider reviews for facilities in a certain area, the higher the county mortality rate, researchers found.
Regions with hospitals getting higher online provider reviews tend to have lower mortality rates, demonstrating not only unequal quality of care, but also confirming that online provider reviews could be a good insight into that quality, according to data published in JAMA Network Open.
The analysis, conducted by researchers from the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, showed that for every one-star drop in online provider review score, the typical hospital saw 18 more deaths per 100,000 people.
This comes as the healthcare industry works to better understand how both patient satisfaction and online provider reviews are tied to clinical quality outcomes. There has been some evidence showing that higher patient satisfaction scores are linked to better clinical outcomes, but this latest study shows that online provider reviews, specifically, can provide a lens through which healthcare policymakers can understand mortality.
“Patient experience and satisfaction with health care are increasingly recognized as important measures of health care quality, but data on these factors are less widely collected,” the researchers wrote. “Favorable evaluations of health care are associated with both patient-level outcomes, such as improved medication adherence, and facility-level outcomes, such as lower mortality.”
And through an assessment of Yelp reviews for about 95,000 hospitals in 1,300 counties, the researchers also found a link between better online provider review and county mortality rate. For each one-star drop in online provider review score, the researchers observed an increased mortality rate by 18 per 100,000 people.
“The negative association between mean facility rating and mortality suggests either that those living in counties with higher mortality are more likely to rate a comparable health care facility unfavorably or that facilities in counties with higher mortality are more likely to provide worse care,” the researchers said.
But that said, previous studies “favor the latter hypothesis,” the researchers said. Prior studies have found better patient experience scores, particularly scores for patient-provider communication, are linked to better overall patient outcomes.
To be clear, counties with low mortality rates had a decent mix of facilities receiving both one- and five-star online provider reviews, and a similar trend was observed in areas with high mortality rates. However, the researchers observed trends in similar-quality reviews in both high- and low-mortality areas.
In other words, the one-star reviews in high-mortality counties were distinct from the one-star reviews in low-mortality areas.
Topic Discussed: Better Online Provider Reviews Linked to Higher Clinical Outcomes
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