Published Online: February 17, 2012
Contrary to research that says patients exaggerate their opinions about physicians in online reviews
, a new study
published in Archives of Internal Medicine
found that patients' online hospital ratings accurately determine which facilities have high death rates and infections.
Researchers at Imperial College London studied 10,274 patient ratings on the National Health Service (NHS) Choices website
between 2009 and 2010 and concluded that hospitals with better patient ratings tend to have a 5% lower death rate and 11% lower readmission rate than those that scored worse, reported
Similarly, hospitals with high cleanliness ratings had a 42% lower rate of MRSA infections.
The findings suggest that patient feedback on treatment may be more indicative of care quality than previously thought.