How Patient Ratings Can Help You Choose a Doctor

patient ratings

Renown Health recently added patient ratings for 143 providers to its website. This initiative — which serves both transparency and accountability goals — provides a useful decision-enhancing tool for those in search of a doc. 

We use star ratings to help us pick movies and restaurants; now stars can also serve as an invaluable tool in helping us select our medical professionals. 

Renown Health recently added patient ratings of 143 Renown Medical Group care providers to its website, meaning the feedback offered by more than 17,900 local patients can help you find your next doctor. 

Tony Slonim, M.D., Dr.PH., President and CEO of Renown Health, championed sharing the scores and comments publicly.

“We are proud that Renown Health is nationally recognized as a leader in clinical quality and patient safety,” Dr. Slonim says. “After more than a year of research, planning and engaging providers, we will be among the first in the West and one of a handful of health systems nationally to publish 17,900 patient ratings and narrative comments for 143 Renown Medical Group providers on the website.” 


As an internist and pediatric intensive care physician with more than 20 years of experience, Dr. Slonim sees the ratings program as a way to support employed physicians and providers at Renown Health.

“Our goal is to consistently exceed customer expectations, every day, and with every encounter,” he says. “At Renown, we embrace transparency and empower patients to hold us accountable, so we can provide real-time measurement and adjustment for service recovery.”

Patient Ratings Provide Critical Insights

Nearly 18,000 local consumers shared their opinions when surveyed, adding valuable data to internet searches. 

“Reaction from Renown Medical Group providers has been overwhelmingly positive,” said Douglas G. Merrill, M.D., MBA, Chief Medical and Academic Officer at Renown. “The public said they increasingly look to online reviews to help them make good decisions. The majority (87 percent) said online reviews would be ‘very helpful’ when evaluating a new physician, 84 percent said they would trust other Renown patient reviews and 34 percent often/always ‘Google’ a physician prior to the first visit.”

The 5-Star Rating System, Explained

The ratings are provided in the familiar “5 star” format based on patient responses to six questions. These cover aspects of care, including explanations, listening, medical history, respect, time spent and level of confidence in the provider. Patients score each question from one (“very poor”) to five (“very good”). Ratings are then averaged and presented as a single “star” rating on each provider’s profile on the Renown Health website.

Only patients who’ve had an outpatient visit with a Renown Medical Group provider may be selected to receive a survey. This way, Renown can confirm that patients who have actually been seen by the provider are contributing data.

All comments are posted anonymously, but patients are still asked for their permission to use their comments. Patients are told that their comments may be featured in the online provider rating feature of Renown Health’s website and used to identify opportunities to improve care.


Both positive and negative comments are publicly posted after a minimum of 30 ratings are received by the provider. Also, while comments will not be removed because they are negative — transparency is needed for the ratings and comments to be useful — any comment that contains protected health information compromising patient confidentiality, contains abusive language or that is not germane to the provider will not be posted.

“Although it can be difficult to have a concerning or negative comment posted publicly, our medical group providers recognize this is part of providing care in the 21st century,” says Tom Sanchez, CEO of Renown Medical Group.

Why Post Patient Comments About a Provider?

Renown Medical Group has decided to post this information in a transparent manner because:

  • Patients should be able to select the best provider for them, which extends beyond solely finding a provider who treats a specific condition;
  • The patient-provider relationship is a critical element for achieving trust, satisfaction and positive outcomes. For this reason, patients should have access to meaningful feedback from prior patients to help them choose a provider;
  • Patients want to be more involved with their care, which starts with transparency and providing information patients want and need;
  • Providers value timely feedback from their patients as a tool to improve care and relationships.

Providers who wish to improve patient relations and communications skills are provided training by Renown Health.

Sanchez said he is pleased at how the public ratings and comments system is working so far. “We have been very pleased that based on nearly 18,000 local consumers surveyed, that 99 percent of the patient comments are favorable, reflecting the enthusiasm and high esteem in which Renown clinicians are held in our community.”

Explore Patient Ratings and Comments

When it comes to researching a doctor, the more information, the better. Now you can use our tool to see the star rating of our providers and specific patient comments. Explore the star-rating system today.

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