Published: 2016-02-17

Identifying patients' criteria for assessment of doctors on Polish physician rating websites

Medical University of Warsaw
Medical University of Warsaw
Medical University of Warsaw
physician ranking sites doctor assessment patient satisfaction soft skills


Introduction. Increasingly popular physician ranking websites have lately become a significant factor in choosing a physician.
Aim. The aim of this study was to establish the criteria by which patients assessed doctors on PRWs and which of these criteria were the most crucial during the general assessment of the physicians.
Material and methods. Selected narrative comments from two Polish PRWs: and were analysed on the basis of the following criteria: kindness and propriety, punctuality, communication with patients, condition and equipment of a doctor's office, length of the appointment, cost of the medical advice.
Results. Out of 4375 eligible comments kindness and propriety was assessed most frequently (3012 comments, 68.85%), next was communication, which was evaluated in 2343 comments (53.55%). Amongst the 3012 comments with assessed kindness and propriety, 77.66% (2339 comments) were described positively. In the group of comments with positively evaluated kindness and propriety 2230 comments (95.34 %) were generally positive. Furthermore, communication with patient was assessed in 2343 comments and in 1827 cases (77.98%) the assessment was positive. 1810 comments with positively evaluated communication were generally positive (99.07%).
Conclusions. There is a connection between the patients' positive assessment and physician's kindness, personal culture and communication skills; if physicians focus on the aforementioned abilities, it might lead to better physician perception, higher effectiveness of treatment and the lower number of potential law suits.


Download data is not yet available.


  1. Gao GG et al. A Changing Landscape of Physician Quality Reporting: Analysis of Patients’ Online Ratings of Their Physicians Over a 5-Year Period. Journal of Medical Internet Research. 2012;14(1):e38.
  2. Verhoef LM et al. Social Media and Rating Sites as Tools to Understanding Quality of Care: A Scoping Review. Journal of Medical Internet Research. 2014;16(2):e56.
  3. Mostaghimi A, Crotty BH, Landon BE. The Availability and Nature of Physician Information on the Internet. Journal of General Internal Medicine. 2010;25(11):1152–1156.
  4. Hanauer DA et al. Public awareness, perception, and use of online physician rating sites. Jama. 2014;311(7): 734–5.
  5. Emmert M, Meier F. An analysis of online evaluations on a physician rating website: evidence from a German public reporting instrument. J Med Internet Res. 2013;15(8): e157.
  6. Lopez A et al. What patients say about their doctors online: a qualitative content analysis. J Gen Intern Med. 2012;27(6):685–92.
  7. Kadry B et al. Analysis of 4999 online physician ratings indicates that most patients give physicians a favorable rating. J Med Internet Res. 2011;13(4):e95.
  8. Emmert M et al. Physician choice making and characteristics associated with using physician-rating websites: cross-sectional study. J Med Internet Res. 2013;15(8): e187.
  9. Polish Internet research. Online health websites. 2013.
  10. Zolnierek KB, Dimatteo MR. Physician communication and patient adherence to treatment: a meta-analysis. Med Care. 2009;47(8):826–34.
  11. Terlutter R, Bidmon S, Rottl J. Who uses physician-rating websites? Differences in sociodemographic variables, psychographic variables, and health status of users and nonusers of physician-rating websites. J Med Internet Res. 2014;16(3):e97.
  12. Strech D, Reimann S. [German language physician rating sites]. Gesundheitswesen. 2012;74(8–9):e61–7.
  13. Emmert M, Sander U, Pisch F. Eight questions about physician-rating websites: a systematic review. J Med Internet Res. 2013;15(2):e24.
  14. Emmert M et al. What do patients say about their physicians? An analysis of 3000 narrative comments posted on a German physician rating website. Health Policy. 2014;118(1):66–73.
  15. Greaves F et al. Use of sentiment analysis for capturing patient experience from free-text comments posted online. J Med Internet Res. 2013;15(11):e239.
  16. Alemi F et al. Feasibility of real-time satisfaction surveys through automated analysis of patients' unstructured comments and sentiments. Qual Manag Health Care. 2012;21(1):9–19.
  17. Lagu T et al. A mixed-methods analysis of patient reviews of hospital care in England: implications for public reporting of health care quality data in the United States. Jt Comm J Qual Patient Saf. 2013;39(1):7–15.
  18. Levinson W, Hudak P, Tricco AC. A systematic review of surgeon-patient communication: strengths and opportunities for improvement. Patient Educ Couns. 2013;93(1): 3–17.
  19. Ha JF, Longnecker N. Doctor-Patient Communication: A Review. The Ochsner Journal. 2010;10(1):38–43.
  20. Public Opinion Research Center, Opinions About Healthcare System. 2014.
  21. Domino J et al. Lack of physician-patient communication as a key factor associated with malpractice litigation in neonatal brachial plexus palsy. J Neurosurg Pediatr. 2014;13(2):238–42.
  22. Levinson W et al. Physician-patient communication. The relationship with malpractice claims among primary care physicians and surgeons. Jama. 1997;277(7):553–9.
  23. Hickson GB et al. Obstetricians' prior malpractice experience and patients' satisfaction with care. Jama. 1994; 272(20):1583–7.

How to Cite

Tymiński R, Walczewski M, Wieczorek M. Identifying patients’ criteria for assessment of doctors on Polish physician rating websites. JMS [Internet]. 2016Feb.17 [cited 2020Sep.18];84(3):189-96. Available from: