During 2000 and 2001, researchers at the Foundation for Accountability (FACCT, no longer in existence) conducted a series of surveys to evaluate the feasibility of using Internet-based surveys of consumers to develop quality ratings of physicians, hospitals, health plans and other health care providers.
- Compared responses from consumers who rated individual physicians and practices in a mailed survey with responses from those who rated the same physicians and practices via the Internet.
- Assessed various methods of recruiting consumers to participate in such surveys.
- Measured the level of satisfaction among users of FACCT's Compare Your Care Internet survey tool.
- Probed nonusers about their lack of participation.
In a report to the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF), FACCT's findings included:
- There was little difference in the average ratings of individual physicians or practices provided by consumers who responded by mail and those who responded via the Internet.
- Response rates varied widely but were highest among potential respondents recruited through so-called trusted sources, such as physicians and consumer groups.
- Most respondents said they would use comparative ratings and comments from other patients to choose a doctor.
- Nonusers cited lack of Internet access or time as their primary reason for not using the tool.
RWJF supported this project through a grant of $394,584.