Social media accessibility, shorter office wait times, and review website personalization are correlated with better online review scores for spine surgeons
BACKGROUND CONTEXT: In the next decade, health care reimbursement will be more aligned to patient clinical outcomes. A factor impacting these outcomes is the patient's perceived opinion of his or her care, and specifically the surgical provider. An evaluation into the role of surgeon demographics, social media accessibility, and office wait times was conducted to identify correlations with these among three online review platforms.
PURPOSE: To evaluate patient satisfaction scores for spine surgeons practicing in New York State using leading physician ratings websites.
STUDY DESIGN/SETTING: A retrospective study.
PATIENT SAMPLE: Spine surgeons with a review on Healthgrades.com (HG), Vitals.com (V), or Google.com (G) online rating websites as of 11/1/2019.
OUTCOME MEASURES: Number of ratings, number of comments, overall rating, patient reported wait times, physician website presence and physician social media presence (SM).
METHODS: A total of 206 (148 orthopedic, 58 neurosurgery-trained) spine surgeons were included after excluding those that no longer practiced, were still in training, or actually practiced outside of the selected geographic area. Spine surgeon ratings and demographics data from three physician rating websites (HG, V, G) were collected in November 2019. Using only the first 10 search results from Google.com we then identified if the surgeon had publicly accessible Facebook (FB), Twitter (TW) or Instagram (IG) accounts. RESULTS: The mean age of the cohort was 54.3 years (± 9.40 years) and 28.2% had one form of publicly accessible SM. Having any SM was significantly correlated with higher scores on HG and G. An IG account was associated with significantly higher scores on all three platforms and having a FB account correlated with significantly higher scores on HG in multivariate analysis. An office wait time between 16-30 minutes and greater than 30 minutes was associated with worse scores on all three platforms in multivariate analysis (all <0.05). Neurosurgery training was associated with significantly worse scores on V in multivariate analysis. An academic practice was associated with higher scores on all three platforms (p<0.05). Overall ratings between HG, V, and G all had significantly positive correlations on Pearson correlation analysis.
CONCLUSIONS: A shorter office wait time and an academic setting practice are associated with higher patient satisfaction scores on all three physician review websites. Accessible social media accounts are also associated with higher ratings on physician review websites, particularly IG. While surgical outcomes are likely the most important influence of perceived patient satisfaction, additional factors should continue to be considered.
FDA DEVICE/DRUG STATUS: This abstract does not discuss or include any applicable devices or drugs.
Donnally, Chester J. III; McCormick, Johnathon R.; Pastore, Mark; Sama, Andrew; Schiller, Nicholas; Li, Deborah J.; Bondar, Kevin; Shenoy, Kartik; Kepler, Christopher K.; and Vaccaro, Alexander R., "Social media accessibility, shorter office wait times, and review website personalization are correlated with better online review scores for spine surgeons" (2020). Orthopedic Surgery Resident Research. 38.