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Abstract

The researchers explored the possibility that patients would go beyond simple ranking and could give weight to previously validated and reliable patient satisfaction factors, while also describing their online habits related to the patient experience and health seeking information in order to inform medical providers on what patients say matters most when evaluating satisfaction with their provider. One thousand one hundred and sixty-four adults completed a 13- item web-based quantitative survey, developed by public health researchers, to weight patient satisfaction factors and describe online health seeking habits of patients across the United States. Proportional weights for each of the patient satisfaction factors were calculated for surgical and non-surgical providers based on participants' allocation of 100 points. Weighted factors revealed that not all factors are weighted evenly and some matter more than others. For both non-surgical and surgical providers, thoroughness of the exam and a provider's ability to answer questions ranked among the top factors. Bivariate analyses found statistically significant differences in proportional weights by gender, age, and writing/seeking provider information online. Patients weight some patient satisfaction factors as more important than others and some are more likely to post online than others. Physicians will be required to act and react quickly to address online patient sentiment and to pay special attention to what patients weigh as the most important. This study is a first step to utilize previously validated and reliable factors to help weight the factors in light of online health seeking and rating behavior.

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