Patient Guide to Patient Satisfaction Surveys and Ratings

Sentara Medical Group values the partnership we have with our patients and their families. We are committed to providing you the information you need to make informed decisions about your health care and about the providers who work with you. As part of that commitment, we now post our provider and practice patient satisfaction ratings online. To assist you, we’ve developed this guide to help patients, family members and those considering appointments with Sentara Medical Group providers understand how we capture and report our patient experience ratings.

About our survey

Sentara Medical Group is focused on providing exceptional patient experience during every visit and interaction. All ratings are submitted by actual patients and are verified by a leading independent patient satisfaction company, National Research Corporation. National Research Corporation provides the technology to display ratings and comments on our provider profiles and practice pages.

Who receives the survey?

The survey is offered via email and phone to selected Sentara Medical Group patients within a few days following their appointments. Patients are asked to complete the survey and provide comments regarding specific aspects of care. We use this feedback to improve and enhance the care we offer. 

Do you post all comments?

Sentara Medical Group is committed to transparency. Both positive and negative comments are posted, with these exceptions: 

  • Offensive, slanderous, libelous or profane language
  • Names or detailed descriptions that jeopardize patient privacy/confidentiality
  • Comments about other providers, departments or instances of care

What questions do we ask?

Sentara Medical Group utilizes the Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (CAHPS) Clinician and Group Practice survey, which was developed by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality for use in hospitals and medical practices across the country. The surveys ask patients to evaluate how well their physician communicated, listened, and showed courtesy and respect toward them. Results are used to evaluate patients’ overall perception of care and to identify areas for improvement.

We calculate our star ratings based on responses to the below questions from the CG-CAHPS survey. 

Physician Communication Questions

  • During your most recent visit, did this provider explain things in a way that was easy to understand? 
  • During your most recent visit, did this provider listen carefully to you? 
  • Did you talk with this provider about any health questions or concerns? 
  • Did this provider give you easy to understand instructions about taking care of these health problems or concerns? 
  • Did this provider seem to know the important information about your medical history? 
  • Did this provider show respect for what you had to say?

Overall Rating Question 

  • Using any number from 0 to 10, where 0 is the worst provider possible and 10 is the best provider possible, what number would you use to rate this provider?

Which providers are included in the ratings?

Only Sentara Medical Group providers are included in the ratings. Sentara Medical Group does not have access to the data for any providers besides those employed by Sentara Medical Group.

Why don’t we see patient ratings and comments for every Sentara Medical Group provider?

Industry best practice is clear that more data provides a more accurate picture. That’s why we require a minimum of 30 completed patient surveys per provider before we post a provider’s rating. Over time, with more surveys received on an ongoing basis, the number of rated providers will increase.

Can anyone complete a survey or post a comment about a provider?

No. Only patients having an outpatient visit by a Sentara Medical Group provider may be selected to receive a survey. The results are based entirely from patients who have actually been treated by the provider.

How is patient information protected?

Patient names are not displayed through the online ratings and commentary reviews. All personally identifiable information is removed prior to display.

How are practice ratings calculated?

The Sentara Medical Group practice ratings are calculated by averaging the individual ratings of the providers who practice at that location. Each location will then display the star rating of that practice location.