Patient satisfaction reviews for 967 spine neurosurgeons on Healthgrades

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  • 1 Department of Neurological Surgery, Rutgers New Jersey Medical School, Newark, New Jersey;
  • | 2 Department of Neurological Surgery, University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania;
  • | 3 Department of Neurological Surgery, Barrow Neurologic Institute, Phoenix, Arizona;
  • | 4 Department of Neurological Surgery, University of Texas Health San Antonio, Texas;
  • | 5 Department of Neurological Surgery, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; and
  • | 6 Department of Neurological Surgery, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, Missouri
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OBJECTIVE

Patients are increasingly relying on independent physician rating websites (PRWs) to obtain information about healthcare providers. Healthgrades.com is a widely used PRW that allows patients to rate physicians on various metrics of performance and quality of care. This study categorically investigated the correlations between demographics of spine neurosurgeons and online ratings on Healthgrades to better understand the factors driving patient satisfaction in spine surgery in the United States.

METHODS

In August–December 2019, the authors performed a retrospective data analysis using Healthgrades. The American Association of Neurological Surgeons (AANS) membership database was used to identify spine neurosurgeons in the United States and extract biographical and career data. Individuals with an academic practice were further investigated for academic rank, leadership, and fellowship training. Scores from eight patient satisfaction metrics (PSMs) were collected for each surgeon from Healthgrades.

RESULTS

A total of 967 spine neurosurgeons were included in the study cohort. Patient satisfaction did not correlate with sex, PhD acquisition, academic status, or academic rank. Among those who were academic surgeons, completion of fellowship training was associated with higher ratings. Geographical location of practice did not influence patient satisfaction. Prolonged wait time was an independent predictor of decreased patient satisfaction and was a key confounding variable underlying trends seen with advanced career duration and age.

CONCLUSIONS

Overall, patients rated spine neurosurgeons highly favorably on the Healthgrades website. Due to the emerging role of PRWs in locating and assessing providers, it is important for both patients and clinicians to understand the factors that impact patient experience.

ABBREVIATIONS

ACGME = Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education; CMS = Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services; PRW = physician rating website; PSM = patient satisfaction metric.

Illustration from Lee et al. (pp 822–829). Copyright Sun Joo Kim. Published with permission.

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