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Need to Combine Patient Experience, Quality of Care on Physician Rating Sites

Interesting study published in BMC Health Services Research sought to identify why so few patients are rating their physicians on German physician rating websites. Physician rating websites allow patients to rate, comment and discuss physicians’ quality online as a source of information for others searching for a physician. It is generally assumed that physician rating websites will only be helpful for users, and fair for the rated, if there are a high number of ratings. However, the number of ratings on these sites remains low internationally and there is currently a lack of research examining the reasons why patients are not rating their physicians. One of factors identified in this qualitative study for influencing people’s willingness to rate their physician on physician rating websites related to the technical aspects of physician rating websites.  There is a need to improve the design of these sites to allow for more trustworthy interpersonal information and combining both patient reviews on aspects of physicians’ care that they can evaluate with summaries of technical quality information in an accessible format.

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