Consumers care about both clinical and ‘patient experience’ ratings to choose primary care doctors

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Patients pay equal attention to online ratings that measure a physician’s clinical ability as well as those that measure the patient experience, according to a new study.

Both factors are important to patients when choosing a primary care doctor, according to the study published in the Journal of Medical Internet Research.

Researchers conducted an experiment on a sample of 950 individuals who were asked to choose their primary care doctor from pairs of physicians with different ratings. Those ratings measured both clinical aspects of care as reported on the government’s Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) website and nonclinical aspects of care on commercial rating sites such as Yelp, RateMDs, Healthgrades and Vitals. Nonclinical ratings were based on patient online reviews about their experiences with staff, nurses and doctors during a recent visit.

Read more: Fierce Healthcare

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