The Patient Experience: An Analysis of Orthopedic Surgeon Quality on Physician-Rating Sites.
Ramkumar PN., Navarro SM., Chughtai M., La T., Fisch E., Mont MA.
BACKGROUND: With the advent of the Consensus Core of Orthopedic Measures, arthroplasty surgeons are increasingly subjected to public performance reviews on physician-rating sites. Therefore, we evaluated (1) web site details of physician-rating sites, (2) differences between sites and the Consensus Core, (3) published patient experiences, (4) search rank among sites, and (5) differences between academic vs nonacademic and arthroplasty vs nonarthroplasty surgeons. METHODS: The 5 busiest physician-rating sites were analyzed. To compare physician-rating sites to the Consensus Core, 3 reviewers analyzed the web site details. To evaluate patient ratings and reviews, orthopedists from the top 5 academic and nonacademic hospitals (2016 US News & World Report) were analyzed. Institution-produced rating sites were also analyzed. Findings were stratified between academic vs nonacademic and arthroplasty vs nonarthroplasty surgeons. Five hundred and six staff surgeons across 10 academic and nonacademic affiliated hospitals yielded 27,792 patient-generated ratings and reviews for 1404 accounts. RESULTS: Features on all sites were practice location, languages spoken, and patient experience. Two sites autogenerated profiles of surgeons without consent. No physician-rating site contained all Consensus Core domains. The composite orthopedic surgeon rating was 4.1 of 5. No significant differences were found between academic and nonacademic affiliated surgeons. Arthroplasty surgeons had a greater number of reviews and ratings on 2 sites. CONCLUSION: Reliability of physician-rating sites is questionable, as none contained all Consensus Core domains. Autogeneration of surgeon profiles is occurring, and no differences between academic vs nonacademic or arthroplasty vs nonarthroplasty surgeons were found. Institution-produced sites may serve to better promote and market surgeons.