Physician group use of patient experience survey varies

Since 2006, Massachusetts has been publicly reporting the results of a patient experience survey where patients assess the care that they received in primary care physician offices. A study by the RAND Corporation, published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine has found that physician groups’ use of this data varies greatly.

For the study, researchers interviewed leaders of 72 physician groups in Massachusetts, and found that 61% of these physician groups reported group-wide improvement efforts, 22% reported efforts to improve only the performance of low-scoring physicians or practice sites, and 17% reported no performance improvement efforts. 

The groups most likely to report group-wide improvement efforts tended to be integrated medical group organizational models that employ the majority of their physicians.  The most commonly reported improvement initiatives were changing office workflow, training for nonclinical staff, and improving electronic medical records.

(Sources: Quality Digest,, December 22, 2010; Journal of General Internal Medicine, December, 2010)