A recent U.S. study found that patients will give the same doctors different quality ratings depending on the setting of their visit. Patient satisfaction surveys were collected at three different locations staffed by the same set of 17 doctors. Patients were asked to evaluate their physician in four categories: how courteous they were, how much time they took to listen, their concern for patient comfort, and how well they kept patients educated about their treatment.
The results showed that patients who saw doctors in the ER gave them consistently lower scores on all survey questions compared to patients who saw the same doctor in an urgent care setting. These findings suggest that patient satisfaction ratings may not be an entirely reliable measure of the quality of care provided by physicians.
These findings were published in The Annals of Internal Medicine on February 11, 2016.