Online Reviews of Specialized Drug Treatment Facilities—Identifying Potential Drivers of High and Low Patient Satisfaction

Abstract

Background

Despite the importance of high-quality and patient-centered substance use disorder treatment, there are no standardized ratings of specialized drug treatment facilities and their services. Online platforms offer insights into potential drivers of high and low patient experience.

Objective

We sought to analyze publicly available online review content of specialized drug treatment facilities and identify themes within high and low ratings.

Design

This was a retrospective analysis of online ratings and reviews of specialized drug treatment facilities in Pennsylvania listed within the 2016 National Directory of Drug and Alcohol Abuse Treatment Facilities. Latent Dirichlet Allocation, a machine learning approach to narrative text, was used to identify themes within reviews. Differential Language Analysis was then used to measure correlations between themes and star ratings.

Setting

Online reviews of Pennsylvania’s specialized drug treatment facilities posted to Google and Yelp (July 2010–August 2018).

Results

A total of 7823 online ratings were posted over 8 years. The distribution was bimodal (43% 5-star and 34% 1-star). The average weighted rating of a facility was 3.3 stars. Online themes correlated with 5-star ratings were the following: focus on recovery (r = 0.53), helpfulness of staff (r = 0.43), compassionate care (r = 0.37), experienced a life-changing moment (r = 0.32), and staff professionalism (r = 0.29). Themes correlated with a 1-star rating were waiting time (r = 0.41), poor accommodations (0.26), poor phone communication (r = 0.24), medications given (0.24), and appointment availability (r = 0.23). Themes derived from review content were similar to 9 of the 14 facility-level services highlighted by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s National Survey of Substance Abuse Treatment Services.

Conclusions

Individuals are sharing their ratings and reviews of specialized drug treatment facilities on online platforms. Organically derived reviews of the patient experience, captured by online platforms, reveal potential drivers of high and low ratings. These represent additional areas of focus which can inform patient-centered quality metrics for specialized drug treatment facilities.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.

Fig. 1
Fig. 2
Fig. 3

References

  1. 1.

    Rudd RA, Seth P, David F, Scholl L. Increases in drug and opioid-involved overdose deaths - United States, 2010–2015. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2016;65(5051):1445–1452. doi:https://doi.org/10.15585/mmwr.mm655051e1

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  2. 2.

    Volkow ND, Frieden TR, Hyde PS, Cha SS. Medication-assisted therapies--tackling the opioid-overdose epidemic. N Engl J Med. 2014;370(22):2063–2066. doi:https://doi.org/10.1056/NEJMp1402780

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  3. 3.

    Ranard BL, Werner RM, Antanavicius T, et al. Yelp reviews of hospital care can supplement and inform traditional surveys of the patient experience of care. Health Aff Proj Hope. 2016;35(4):697–705. doi:https://doi.org/10.1377/hlthaff.2015.1030

    Article  Google Scholar 

  4. 4.

    Agarwal AK, Mahoney K, Lanza AL, et al. Online ratings of the patient experience: emergency departments versus urgent care centers. Ann Emerg Med. November 2018. doi:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.annemergmed.2018.09.029

  5. 5.

    Lee V. Transparency and trust — online patient reviews of physicians. N Engl J Med. 2017;376(3):197–199. doi:https://doi.org/10.1056/NEJMp1610136

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  6. 6.

    Glover M, Khalilzadeh O, Choy G, Prabhakar AM, Pandharipande PV, Gazelle GS. Hospital evaluations by social media: a comparative analysis of Facebook ratings among performance outliers. J Gen Intern Med. 2015;30(10):1440–1446. doi:https://doi.org/10.1007/s11606-015-3236-3

    Article  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  7. 7.

    Kellogg C, Zhu Y, Cardenas V, et al. What consumers say about nursing homes in online reviews. The Gerontologist. 2018;58(4):e273-e280. doi:https://doi.org/10.1093/geront/gny025

    Article  Google Scholar 

  8. 8.

    Werner RM, Konetzka RT, Polsky D. Changes in consumer demand following public reporting of summary quality ratings: an evaluation in nursing homes. Health Serv Res. 2016;51:1291–1309. doi:https://doi.org/10.1111/1475-6773.12459

    Article  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  9. 9.

    Perraillon MC, Konetzka RT, He D, Werner RM. Consumer response to composite ratings of nursing home quality. Am J Health Econ. December 2017:1–36. doi:https://doi.org/10.1162/ajhe_a_00115

  10. 10.

    Understanding the Epidemic | Drug Overdose | CDC Injury Center. https://www.cdc.gov/drugoverdose/epidemic/index.html. Published August 30, 2017. Accessed September 19, 2019.

  11. 11.

    Scholl L. Drug and opioid-involved overdose deaths — United States, 2013–2017. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2019;67. doi:https://doi.org/10.15585/mmwr.mm6751521e1

  12. 12.

    SAMHSA - Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. https://www.samhsa.gov/. .

  13. 13.

    Factsheet. Yelp. https://www.yelp.com/factsheet. Accessed September 19, 2019.

  14. 14.

    Merchant RM, Volpp KG, Asch DA. Learning by listening-improving health care in the era of Yelp. JAMA. 2016;316(23):2483–2484. doi:https://doi.org/10.1001/jama.2016.16754

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  15. 15.

    Blei DM. Latent Dirichlet Allocation. :30.

  16. 16.

    Graves RL, Goldshear J, Perrone J, et al. Patient narratives in Yelp reviews offer insight into opioid experiences and the challenges of pain management. Pain Manag. 2018;8(2):95–104. doi:https://doi.org/10.2217/pmt-2017-0050

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  17. 17.

    Lagu T, Hannon NS, Rothberg MB, Lindenauer PK. Patients’ evaluations of health care providers in the era of social networking: an analysis of physician-rating websites. J Gen Intern Med. 2010;25(9):942–946. doi:https://doi.org/10.1007/s11606-010-1383-0

    Article  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  18. 18.

    Lagu T, Metayer K, Moran M, et al. Website characteristics and physician reviews on commercial physician-rating websites. JAMA. 2017;317(7):766–768. doi:https://doi.org/10.1001/jama.2016.18553

    Article  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  19. 19.

    Merchant RM, Asch DA. Protecting the value of medical science in the age of social media and “fake news.” JAMA. November 2018. doi:https://doi.org/10.1001/jama.2018.18416

  20. 20.

    Agarwal AK, Pelullo AP, Merchant RM. “Told”: the word most correlated to negative online hospital reviews. J Gen Intern Med. February 2019. doi:https://doi.org/10.1007/s11606-019-04870-6

    Google Scholar 

  21. 21.

    Stronger Than Addiction. https://www.shatterproof.org/. Accessed September 19, 2019.

  22. 22.

    Shatterproof to Build a Rating System for Addiction Treatment Programs. Shatterproof. https://www.shatterproof.org/press/shatterproof-build-rating-system-addiction-treatment-programs. Accessed September 19, 2019.

Download references

Funding

This study was financially supported by the Pennsylvania Department of Health – Commonwealth Universal Research Enhancement Program (CURE).

Author information

Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Anish K. Agarwal MD, MPH, MSHP.

Ethics declarations

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they do not have a conflict of interest.

Additional information

Publisher’s Note

Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Agarwal, A.K., Wong, V., Pelullo, A.M. et al. Online Reviews of Specialized Drug Treatment Facilities—Identifying Potential Drivers of High and Low Patient Satisfaction. J GEN INTERN MED 35, 1647–1653 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11606-019-05548-9

Download citation

Key Words

  • substance abuse
  • treatment centers
  • social media
  • patient experience