TAMPA, Fla., Jan. 16, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Google a physician's name and you're likely to come up with a dozen consumer websites that claim to rate doctors. But a new survey found that physician leaders view online physician ratings as inaccurate, unreliable and not widely used among patients.
The survey found that physicians much prefer internal organizational ratings based on actual performance, as opposed to the consumer websites that many physicians consider to be nothing more than "popularity contests."
The survey, conducted by the American College of Physician Executives (ACPE) was sent to 5,624 ACPE members and 730 responded.
Results showed most physician leaders are frustrated with consumer online ratings. They complained the sites contain sampling bias and invalid measurements of competency.
"Health care, like most other industries, has clearly entered an era where measurement and reporting have increasing importance," said Peter Angood, MD, CEO of ACPE. "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."
Only 12 percent of respondents believe patient online reviews are helpful. A far greater number (29 percent) said they are not used very much by patients and don't affect their organization; 26 percent called them a nuisance.
Most of the survey respondents (69 percent) admitted they checked their profile on an online consumer website, but 55 percent believed few of their patients have used an online physician rating site.
Of the physicians who checked their online profiles, 39 percent said they agreed with their ratings and 42 percent said they partially agreed. Nineteen percent didn't agree.
The survey also revealed skepticism about ratings conducted by health care organizations such as the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA), The Joint Commission and Press Ganey, too, although they are viewed more favorably than online consumer sites. Most (41 percent) described their feelings about them as neutral. Another 29 percent said the systems were helpful, while 14 percent said they were a waste of time.
For complete survey results and related articles, go to acpe.org/measures.
ACPE is the nation's oldest and largest medical management educational association for physicians. The organization represents nearly 11,000 high-level physician leaders from health care organizations across the U.S. and throughout the world.
ACPE manager of public relations
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SOURCE American College of Physician Executives