Inspectorate identifies the same hospitals as “at risk” as patients rate as underperformers

Kool , Tijn

In the Netherlands, hospitals with quality or safety issues are put under intensified supervision by the Dutch Health Care Inspectorate, which involves frequent announced and unannounced site visits and other measures. Patient rating sites are an upcoming phenomenon in health care. Patient reviews might be influenced by perceived quality including the media coverage of health care providers when the health care inspectorate imposes intensified supervision, but no data are available to show how these are related. 

Tijn Kool and colleagues investigated with a longitudinal study whether and how being under intensified supervision of the health care inspectorate influences online patient ratings of hospitals.

They conclude that hospitals that are confronted with intensified supervision by the health care inspectorate have lower ratings on patient rating sites. The scores are independent of the period: before, during, or just after the intervention by the health care inspectorate. Health care inspectorates might learn from these results because they indicate that the inspectorate identifies the same hospitals as “at risk” as the patients rate as underperformers.

Kool RB, Kleefstra SM, Borghans I, Atsma F, van de Belt TH. Influence of Intensified Supervision by Health Care Inspectorates on Online Patient Ratings of Hospitals: A Multilevel Study of More Than 43,000 Online Ratings. J Med Internet Res 2016;18(7):e198


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