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Research Letter
Mar 12, 2012

Associations Between Web-Based Patient Ratings and Objective Measures of Hospital Quality

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliations: Departments of Primary Care and Public Health (Drs Greaves, Pape, Majeed, and Millett) and Surgery and Cancer (Drs King and Darzi), Imperial College London, London, England; and Division of Hospital Medicine, University of California, San Francisco (Dr Wachter).

Arch Intern Med. 2012;172(5):435-436. doi:10.1001/archinternmed.2011.1675

Patients are increasingly using the Internet to rate their experience of health care.1 Although controversial, particularly among health care professionals,2 Web-based hospital or physician rating sites represent a potentially important development in public reporting.3 Patients rarely use conventional publicly reported metrics when choosing their health care provider and often find these difficult to understand.4

In 2008, the English National Health Service (NHS) established a Web site called NHS Choices that allows patients to rate their experiences with health care providers. Patients can rate several dimensions of quality on simple scales and leave comments on particular aspects of care in free text. As of October 2011, Medicare has not chosen to include patient comments and ratings, despite recent calls for their introduction.5

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