What Do Patients Care About? Mining Fine-grained Patient Concerns from Online Physician Reviews Through Computer-Assisted Multi-level Qualitative Analysis

AMIA Annu Symp Proc. 2021 Jan 25:2020:544-553. eCollection 2020.


Online physician review (OPR) websites have been increasingly used by healthcare consumers to make informed decisions in selecting healthcare providers. However, consumer-generated online reviews are often unstructured and contain plural topics with varying degrees of granularity, making it challenging to analyze using conventional topic modeling techniques. In this paper, we designed a novel natural language processing pipeline incorporating qualitative coding and supervised and unsupervised machine learning. Using this method, we were able to identify not only coarse-grained topics (e.g., relationship, clinic management), but also fine-grained details such as diagnosis, timing and access, and financial concerns. We discuss how healthcare providers could improve their ratings based on consumer feedback. We also reflect on the inherent challenges of analyzing user-generated online data, and how our novel pipeline may inform future work on mining consumer-generated online data.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Computers
  • Data Mining / methods*
  • Delivery of Health Care*
  • Health Services / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Internet / statistics & numerical data*
  • Natural Language Processing
  • Patient Satisfaction / statistics & numerical data*
  • Physicians*
  • Quality of Health Care / standards*