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Online emergency department ratings, patient satisfaction and the age-old issue of communication
  1. Megan L Ranney1,
  2. Clayton A Peimer2
  1. 1Emergency Digital Health Innovation Program, Department of Emergency Medicine, Rhode Island Hospital, Alpert Medical School, Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island, USA
  2. 2Department of Surgery (Orthopaedics), College of Human Medicine, Michigan State University, Upper Peninsula Health System, Marquette, Michigan, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr Megan L Ranney, Emergency Digital Health Innovation Program, Department of Emergency Medicine, Rhode Island Hospital, Alpert Medical School, Brown University, 593 Eddy Street, Claverick 2, Providence, RI 02903, USA; mranney{at}lifespan.org

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Kilaru et al1 report a well-designed and well-executed, retrospective, qualitative study, which suggests that one-third of online (Yelp-sourced) patients’ hospital reviews address care in emergency departments (EDs). Using strong qualitative methods, the authors describe the themes emerging from Yelp users’ free-text ED reviews. Some of these themes—communication with nurses, communication with doctors and pain control—correspond with the categories in the nationally accepted US Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS) survey. Other themes—waiting and efficiency, decisions to seek care in the ED and the events following discharge—differ from HCAHPS’ domains. These findings are unlikely to surprise those working in an ED, although the report that the majority of comments are positive may be less expected.

This publication makes a useful contribution to the field of patient safety and satisfaction in several ways. First, it may inform future efforts to obtain patients’ feedback on their satisfaction with emergency services. As the authors note, the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services is currently developing an ED-based version of HCAHPS. We hope that some of the ED-specific themes identified in this paper—which, importantly, match the correlates of ED-related satisfaction and …

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