How do physician demographics, training, social media usage, online presence, and wait times influence online physician review scores for spine surgeons?

Restricted access

OBJECTIVE

The purpose of this study was to assess the impact of certain demographics, social media usage, and physician review website variables for spine surgeons across Healthgrades.com (Healthgrades), Vitals.com (Vitals), and Google.com (Google).

METHODS

Through a directory of registered North American Spine Society (NASS) physicians, we identified spine surgeons practicing in Texas (107 neurosurgery trained, 192 orthopedic trained). Three physician rating websites (Healthgrades, Vitals, Google) were accessed to obtain surgeon demographics, training history, practice setting, number of ratings/reviews, and overall score (January 2, 2018–January 16, 2018). Using only the first 10 search results from Google.com, we then identified whether the surgeon had a website presence or an accessible social media account on Facebook, Twitter, and/or Instagram.

RESULTS

Physicians with either a personal or institutional website had a higher overall rating on Healthgrades compared to those who did not have a website (p < 0.01). Nearly all spine surgeons had a personal or institutional website (90.3%), and at least 1 accessible social media account was recorded for 43.5% of the spine surgeons in our study cohort (39.5% Facebook, 10.4% Twitter, 2.7% Instagram). Social media presence was not significantly associated with overall ratings across all 3 sites, but it did significantly correlate with more comments on Healthgrades. In multivariable analysis, increasing surgeon age was significantly associated with a lower overall rating across all 3 review sites (p < 0.05). Neurosurgeons had higher overall ratings on Vitals (p = 0.04). Longer wait times were significantly associated with a lower overall rating on Healthgrades (p < 0.0001). Overall ratings from all 3 websites correlated significantly with each other, indicating agreement between physician ratings across different platforms.

CONCLUSIONS

Longer wait times, increasing physician age, and the absence of a website are indicative of lower online review scores for spine surgeons. Neurosurgery training correlated with a higher overall review score on Vitals. Having an accessible social media account does not appear to influence scores, but it is correlated with increased patient feedback on Healthgrades. Identification of ways to optimize patients’ perception of care are important in the future of performance-based medicine.

ABBREVIATIONS NASS = North American Spine Society.

Article Information

Correspondence Chester J. Donnally III: University of Miami Hospital, Miami, FL. chester.donnally@jhsmiami.org.

INCLUDE WHEN CITING Published online November 23, 2018; DOI: 10.3171/2018.8.SPINE18553.

Disclosures Dr. Wang reports consultant relationships with DePuy-Synthes Spine, K2M, Spineology, Globus Medical, and Stryker; a patent holder relationship with DePuy-Synthes Spine; and direct stock ownership in ISD.

© AANS, except where prohibited by US copyright law.

Headings

Figures

  • View in gallery

    Pearson correlation scatterplots. A: Healthgrades versus Vitals (r = 0.34, 95% CI 0.23–0.44, p < 0.0001). B: Healthgrades versus Google (r = 0.37, 95% CI 0.24–0.47, p < 0.0001). C: Vitals versus Google (r = 0.15, 95% CI 0.02–0.28, p = 0.03). v = versus. Figure is available in color online only.

References

1

Bakhsh WMesfin A: Online ratings of orthopedic surgeons: analysis of 2185 reviews. Am J Orthop 43:3593632014

2

Chowdhury A: What are the top doctor rating and review sites? A deep dive into the best sites for healthcare reviews. Doctible. (https://blog.doctible.com/what-are-the-top-doctor-rating-and-review-sites-20d32ba1ec81) [Accessed September 4 2018]

3

Curry ELi XNguyen JMatzkin E: Prevalence of internet and social media usage in orthopedic surgery. Orthop Rev (Pavia) 6:54832014

4

Donnally CJ IIIRoth ESLi DJMaguire JA JrMcCormick JRBarker GP: Analysis of internet review site comments for spine surgeons: how office staff, physician likeability, and patient outcome are associated with online evaluations. Spine (Phila Pa 1976) [epub ahead of print] 2018

5

Duymus TMKaradeniz HÇaçan MAKömür BDemirtaş AZehir S: Internet and social media usage of orthopaedic patients: A questionnaire-based survey. World J Orthop 8:1781862017

6

Duymuş TMKaradeniz HŞükür EAtiç RZehir SAzboy İ: Social media and Internet usage of orthopaedic surgeons. J Clin Orthop Trauma 8:25302017

7

Emmert MMeier F: An analysis of online evaluations on a physician rating website: evidence from a German public reporting instrument. J Med Internet Res 15:e1572013

8

Hanauer DAZheng KSinger DCGebremariam ADavis MM: Public awareness, perception, and use of online physician rating sites. JAMA 311:7347352014

9

Jack RA IIBurn MBMcCulloch PCLiberman SRVarner KEHarris JD: Does experience matter? A meta-analysis of physician rating websites of orthopaedic surgeons. Musculoskelet Surg 102:63712018

10

Mukaka MM: Statistics corner: A guide to appropriate use of correlation coefficient in medical research. Malawi Med J 24:69712012

11

Nwachukwu BUAdjei JTrehan SKChang BAmoo-Achampong KNguyen JT: Rating a sports medicine surgeon’s “quality” in the modern era: an analysis of popular physician online rating websites. HSS J 12:2722772016

12

Obele CCDuszak R JrHawkins CMRosenkrantz AB: What patients think about their interventional radiologists: assessment using a leading physician ratings website. J Am Coll Radiol 14:6096142017

13

Swayne LC: Pay for performance: pay more or pay less? J Am Coll Radiol 2:7777812005

14

Trehan SKDeFrancesco CJNguyen JTCharalel RADaluiski A: Online patient ratings of hand surgeons. J Hand Surg Am 41:981032016

15

Vu AFEspinoza GMPerry JDChundury RV: Online ratings of ASOPRS surgeons: what do your patients really think of you? Ophthal Plast Reconstr Surg 33:4664702017

TrendMD

Metrics

Metrics

All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 82 82 82
Full Text Views 30 30 30
PDF Downloads 24 24 24
EPUB Downloads 0 0 0

PubMed

Google Scholar