An evaluation of the 100,000 most negative comments reveals the most common themes were poor staff attitude, bad bedside manner, lack of response to phone calls/inquiries and the amount of time spent/wasted in the office.

When patients take to the web to rate and review their doctors it’s not exclusively about the quality of care.

As it turns out, after a review of 7 million online physician ratings and reviews by healthcare technology and analytics provider HealthGrades.com and the Medical Group Management Association, most consumers post comments and rankings on a scale of 1 to 5 stars for bedside manner, the ease and convenience of making an appointment and related topics.

Patients place top importance on the time a provider spent with them

Consumers generally seem to like their doctors. The average star rating for a doctor is 4 stars, though female patients rate their male doctor slightly more favorably than male patients who rate their female physician at 4.14 and 4.12 stars, respectively.

In both positive and negative comments, patients place top importance on the time a provider spent with them, particularly as an indicator of the doctor’s willingness to answer questions, listen to concerns and ensure patients fully understood their condition or procedure, according to the analysis.

Looking at the 100,000 most positive comments, patients commented most frequently on staff demeanor and attitude, overall comfort, friendliness and care by the provider and overall provider bedside manner. In a similar evaluation of the 100,000 most negative comments, the most common themes were poor staff attitude, bad bedside manner, lack of response to phone calls/inquiries and the amount of time spent/wasted in the office.

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“It’s clear from the data what most people already intuitively know: the patient experience extends deeper and further than the walls of a surgical suite or exam room,” says Medical Group Management Association president and CEO Dr. Halee Fischer-Wright.

Other research results include:

  • Almost 70% of all ratings are 5-star ratings, while 22% of all ratings are only a single star.
  • “Time” is mentioned in reviews by 32% of consumers.
  • Overall, patients cite compassion, comfort, patience, personality, staff, bedside manner, knowledge, time, insurance, appointments and communication as important. More than 69% of all patient reviews of their physician mention at least one of these factors.

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