Letters to the Editor
We agree that collecting patient feedback data in the United Kingdom registry for purposes of continued medical licensing will create an excellent opportunity to measure patient valuation of physician performance in the workplace setting. Yet, according to our experience, patients are very mild in their answers to questionnaires about physician behavior and tend to give high ratings. Such ratings may make it appear that less change is needed in the practice involved than is actually the case. Triangulation with other measurements might then be necessary.
However, our major concern is that many of the studies included in our review have analyzed only lower levels of effectiveness of patient feedback, such as the physicians’ appreciation or learning as a result of patient feedback. Therefore, we would recommend that in the United Kingdom, the focus of research outcomes should be the measurement of the actual change of physician performance (e.g., improvements or otherwise in the ways physicians communicate risk) as a result of the registry’s patient feedback data.
Marcel E. Reinders, MD, PhD, MSc
Family physician, epidemiologist, and post-doctoral fellow, EMGO Institute of Health and Care Research,
Department of General Practice, VU University Medical Center, Amsterdam, The Netherlands;
Harm W.J. van Marwijk, MD, PhD
Family physician and associate professor, EMGO
Institute of Health and Care Research, Department of General Practice, VU University Medical Center,
Amsterdam, The Netherlands.