The content of physician rating websites might be based on scores provided by very few patients, according to a study published in the Journal of Urology, United Press International reports.
For the study, researchers examined online reviews of 500 randomly selected urologists across 10 no-cost websites that tally physician ratings (United Press International, 1/3).
The study found that each doctor's overall rating was based on an average of 2.4 patient reviews (Pittman, Reuters, 12/21/12).
Chandy Ellimoottil -- a study author and physician at Loyola University Medical Center in Illinois -- said that because physicians on average received so few reviews, a very positive or very negative score from one or two patients could have a significant effect on the physician's overall rating.
The study also found that:
- 86% of the urologists studied had positive ratings on the websites; and
- 36% had highly positive ratings on the sites.
Researcher Comments on Findings
Ellimoottil in a statement
said, "These sites have the potential to help inform customers." However, Ellimoottil added that the sites "need more reviews to make them more reliable" (United Press International