Publicly Reported Patient Satisfaction Scores in Academic Otolaryngology Departments

Laryngoscope. 2021 Oct;131(10):2204-2210. doi: 10.1002/lary.29557. Epub 2021 Apr 8.


Objectives/hypothesis: Despite controversy regarding their impact and validity, there is a rising national focus on patient satisfaction scores (PSS). We describe the landscape of online PSS as posted by academic otolaryngology practices.

Study design: Retrospective cross-sectional study.

Methods: Websites of academic otolaryngology programs were reviewed for PSS scores, provider type, and geographic location. Gender was determined by picture or profile pronouns. Years of experience were determined by year of initial American Board of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery certification. We defined PSS derived from Press-Ganey or Clinician and Group Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems surveys as "standardized PSS". We determined potential associations between provider characteristics and standardized PSS.

Results: Out of 115 Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery academic programs, 40 (35%) posted a total of 64,638 online PSS surveys (nonstandardized plus standardized) of 507 unique otolaryngology care providers. Standardized PSS were posted for 473 providers (370 [78%] male; 446 physicians; 27 advanced practice providers). Median overall standardized PSS was 4.8 (interquartile range 4.7-4.9; range 3.8-5.0). PSS were similar between gender, provider type, and years of experience. Male providers had more surveys than female providers (149 vs. 93; P < .01). There was a linear relationship between number of surveys and years of experience (P < .01), but no relationship between number of surveys and overall standardized PSS.

Conclusions: Patient satisfaction with otolaryngology providers at academic institutions is consistently high, as demonstrated by high online PSS with little variability. The limited variation in PSS may limit their usefulness in differentiating providers and quality of care.

Level of evidence: NA Laryngoscope, 131:2204-2210, 2021.

Keywords: Patient satisfaction scores; online reputation; pay for performance; public reporting; quality of care.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Academic Medical Centers / organization & administration
  • Academic Medical Centers / standards
  • Academic Medical Centers / statistics & numerical data*
  • Clinical Competence / statistics & numerical data
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Otolaryngologists / statistics & numerical data
  • Otolaryngology / organization & administration
  • Otolaryngology / standards
  • Otolaryngology / statistics & numerical data*
  • Otorhinolaryngologic Surgical Procedures / standards
  • Otorhinolaryngologic Surgical Procedures / statistics & numerical data*
  • Patient Satisfaction / statistics & numerical data*
  • Quality of Health Care / standards
  • Quality of Health Care / statistics & numerical data*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Sex Factors
  • Surgeons / statistics & numerical data
  • Surveys and Questionnaires / statistics & numerical data
  • United States