Healthcare News & Insights

Patient ratings can predict hospitals’ performance

A new study indicates that patients’ online ratings of hospitals correlate to how well hospitals perform on measures of infection and death rates.

Popular opinion is that patients inflate — for good or bad — their experiences with doctors and hospitals when using online review sites. But a new study in the Archives of Internal Medicine found that patient ratings accurately determined which hospitals would have higher or lower rates of death and infections.

The study was done by researchers at Imperial College London. They looked at more than 10,000 patient ratings left on the British National Health Service Choices site during 2009 and 2010. They found that hospitals with better overall ratings had death rates 5% lower than their peers and infection rates 11% lower. Hospitals with high ratings on “cleanliness” saw 42% fewer MRSA infections.

The study results give more ammunition to hospital managers who want to take patient feedback more seriously and use it to implement improvements.

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