Key drivers of patient satisfaction with spine surgeons in the outpatient setting

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  • 1 Center for Spine Health, Cleveland Clinic;
  • 2 Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine;
  • 3 Department of Neurosurgery, Cleveland Clinic;
  • 4 Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, Ohio; and
  • 5 Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, North Carolina
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OBJECTIVE

The Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems Clinician & Group Survey (CG-CAHPS) was developed as a result of the value-based purchasing initiative by the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services. It allows patients to rate their experience with their provider in the outpatient setting. These ratings are then reported in aggregate and made publicly available, allowing patients to make informed choices during physician selection. In this study, the authors sought to elucidate the primary drivers of patient satisfaction in the office-based spine surgery setting as represented by the CG-CAHPS.

METHODS

All patients who underwent lumbar spine surgery between 2009 and 2017 and completed a patient experience survey were studied. The satisfied group comprised patients who selected a top-box score (9 or 10) for overall provider rating (OPR) on the CG-CAHPS, while the unsatisfied group comprised the remaining patients. Demographic and surgical characteristics were compared using the chi-square test for categorical variables and the Student t-test for continuous variables. A multivariable logistic regression model was developed to analyze the association of patient and surgeon characteristics with OPR. Survey items were then added to the baseline model individually, adjusting for covariates.

RESULTS

The study population included 647 patients who had undergone lumbar spine surgery. Of these patients, 564 (87%) selected an OPR of 9 or 10 on the CG-CAHPS and were included in the satisfied group. Patient characteristics were similar between the two groups. The two groups did not differ significantly regarding patient-reported health status measures. After adjusting for potential confounders, the following survey items were associated with the greatest odds of selecting a top-box OPR: did this provider show respect for what you had to say? (OR 21.26, 95% CI 9.98–48.10); and did this provider seem to know the important information about your medical history? (OR 20.93, 95% CI 11.96–45.50).

CONCLUSIONS

The present study sought to identify the key drivers of patient satisfaction in the postoperative office-based spine surgery setting and found several important associations. After adjusting for potential confounders, several items relating to physician communication were found to be the strongest predictors of patient satisfaction. This highlights the importance of effective communication in the patient-provider interaction and elucidates avenues for quality improvement efforts in the spine care setting.

ABBREVIATIONS CCI = Charlson Comorbidity Index; CG-CAHPS = Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems Clinician & Group Survey; HCAHPS = Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers; OPR = overall provider rating; PROMIS-GPH = Patient-Reported Outcomes Measurement Information System Global Physical Health.

Spine - 1 year subscription bundle (Individuals Only)

USD  $369.00

JNS + Pediatrics + Spine - 1 year subscription bundle (Individuals Only)

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Contributor Notes

Correspondence Nicholas M. Rabah: The Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, OH. nmr68@case.edu.

INCLUDE WHEN CITING Published online March 19, 2021; DOI: 10.3171/2020.9.SPINE201292.

Disclosures Dr. Mroz: royalties from Stryker. Dr. Steinmetz: royalties from Zimmer Biomet and Elsevier; consultant for Globus and Intellirod; and honoraria from Globus and Stryker.

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