Design of physician satisfaction surveys affects results

Design of physician satisfaction surveys affects results

(HealthDay)—Patient satisfaction scores are influenced by the design and implementation of patient surveys, according to an article published in the January-February issue of Family Practice Management.

John W. Bachman, M.D., from the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. discusses some of the potential problems with patient satisfaction scores and suggested ways to improve their utility.

Bachman notes that patient satisfaction scores are often derived from surveys, and that how and when questions are asked can affect the result, including phone versus written surveys, the timing of the survey, and sampling methods. Sample size can also affect the accuracy of the score, with smaller sample size giving a few dissatisfied patients more influence. Variation in several factors can complicate comparison of physician scores, such as differences in patient mix; system factors that affect satisfaction that are outside of the physicians' control; inherent issues with measuring results; and environmental issues, such as what kind of clinic the physician works in.

In order to mitigate potential problems, Bachman recommends aggregating data from all providers to get adequate samples; not presenting satisfaction scores without including statistical information; not rewarding or penalizing physicians solely based on scores; examining the lowest few scores that fall outside a random distribution; and studying quality improvement and statistical variation.

Explore further

Patient satisfaction scores in the ER are not affected by receipt of painkillers

More information: Full Text (subscription or payment may be required)

Copyright © 2016 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

Citation: Design of physician satisfaction surveys affects results (2016, January 18) retrieved 15 January 2021 from
This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.

Feedback to editors

User comments