Patient Guide to Patient Satisfaction Surveys and Ratings

At Cleveland Clinic, we believe in the power of patient choice and want to put all the information you need to choose a physician at your fingertips. We also believe that transparency is critical. To that end, we’ve pulled together this guide to help patients, family members and those considering appointments at Cleveland Clinic understand how we capture the patient experience. This involves explaining patient satisfaction surveys, the various ways we deliver patient feedback to our physicians and how we have created transparent reporting to patients about our physicians.

About the surveys

Cleveland Clinic measures many aspects of our patients’ experience. To ensure that we are holding ourselves to the highest standards, we partner with an independent patient satisfaction company, Press Ganey. For more than 25 years, Press Ganey has been the industry’s recognized leader in healthcare patient satisfaction. Press Ganey works with more than 10,000 healthcare organizations nationwide, including 50% of all U.S. hospitals, to improve clinical and business outcomes.

Who receives the survey?

Patients treated by Cleveland Clinic physicians are randomly invited to complete surveys. Surveys are offered by mail or email and give patients an opportunity to provide feedback about their experience with their physician. Each year, approximately 190,000 Cleveland Clinic patients respond. Results are shared with departments and individual physicians to identify opportunities to improve care.

What questions do we ask?

Patients are invited to complete surveys based upon their hospital stay or outpatient office visit with their physician. On behalf of Cleveland Clinic, Press Ganey administers the CAHPS® Hospital Survey and CAHPS Clinician and Group Practice survey, developed by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, for use in hospitals and medical practices across the country. In addition, parents of hospitalized pediatric patients receive a separate survey from Press Ganey. The surveys ask patients or parents to evaluate how well their physician communicated, listened and showed courtesy and respect toward them. Results are used to evaluate patients’ overall perception of care and to identify areas for improvement.

What do we do with the survey responses?

Survey ratings and patient comments are shared on this website for the benefit of our patients and physicians. Our physicians also receive their patient ratings relative to peers on a quarterly basis. Physicians are asked to continually monitor their patients’ feedback and ratings.

How is the physician’s patient satisfaction star rating created?

Star ratings are based from patient responses to six questions about care from their physician.

  1. Did the physician explain things in a way that was easy to understand?
  2. Did the physician listen carefully to you?
  3. Did the physician give you easy to understand information about your health questions or concerns?
  4. Did the physician seem to know important information about your medical history?
  5. Did the physician show respect for what you had to say?
  6. Did the physician spend enough time with you?

For each physician, ratings from their patients are averaged together to form a single star rating.

Are all comments posted?

We post both positive and negative comments from the surveys. We do not post comments that are libelous, slanderous, profane, irrelevant or otherwise inappropriate or may risk the privacy of our patients.

While the comments are posted in an anonymous manner, we understand some patients may recognize their comment and desire for it to be removed from the website. Patients may request to remove a comment from their doctor’s profile by calling 866.616.6062 and selecting option 2.

Why don’t we see patient ratings and comments for every physician?

The more ratings a physician receives increases the accuracy and reliability of the results. A physician’s rating will only be posted on the site providing he/she has a minimum of 30 completed surveys.

For example, a doctor who primarily treats hospitalized patients and receives only seven surveys over the course of a year will not have a corresponding star rating displayed.

Can anyone complete a survey or post a comment about a physician?

No. Only patients having an outpatient visit or hospitalized discharge by a Cleveland Clinic physician may be selected to receive a survey. This way we can confirm the results are based entirely from patients who have actually been treated by the physician.

Why post patient comments about the physician?

  1. We want patients to be paired with the best physician, which extends beyond solely finding a doctor that treats for a specific condition.
  2. We know that the physician-patient relationship is a critical element toward achieving trust, satisfaction, and positive outcomes. For this reason, we are compelled to offer our patients and our community meaningful feedback offered from prior patients to help them choose a physician.
  3. Patients increasingly want to be more involved in their care, and that starts with us being transparent by providing information that patients want and need.

How many patients respond to these surveys?

Each year 30% of patients who receive a survey respond, which amounts to 190,000 patients offering feedback about their experience.

How is patient information protected?

Patient names are not displayed through the on-line ratings and commentary reviews. All personally identifiable information is removed prior to display. In addition, all patient survey responses are stored on a password protected server within Cleveland Clinic with access limited to select personnel within the Office of Patient Experience.