Semantic Analysis of Online Dentist Review: Toward Assessing Safety and Quality of Dental Care

  • Ye Lin
  • Simon Hong
  • Chen LiangEmail author
Conference paper
Part of the Communications in Computer and Information Science book series (CCIS, volume 1034)


Safety and quality measurement of dental care is important but shows a lack of standardized measure concept set. In recent years, patient review websites (PRW) emerged as a widely used platform for health consumers, including dental patients. The massive patient online reviews (POR) are a rich data source that captures various aspects of safety and quality of dental care, such as patient experience, cost, clinical efficiency, outcomes, etc. However, PORs consist of both structured data (e.g., ratings) and unstructured data (e.g., comments in free text). The processing of textual data is costly for traditional qualitative methods. This study aims to jointly leverage automated text processing and expert evaluation to extract safety and quality related semantic information from dental PORs. As an exploratory study, we sampled dental PORs of Los Angeles, California from RateMDs. Using the National Quality Measures Clearinghouse (NQMC) domain framework as a reference, we identified salient topics relating to clinical quality measures (e.g., patient experience), healthcare delivery measures (e.g., cost, management), etc. We also identified topics relevant to safety and quality but were not covered by any domains of NQMC, suggesting a possible gap of concepts. Finally, our study demonstrated great potential of adopting informatics, specifically, social media computing in POR study of dental care.


Quality of health care Social media Dental care 


  1. 1.
    Kadry, B., Chu, L.F., Kadry, B., Gammas, D., Macario, A.: Analysis of 4999 online physician ratings indicates that most patients give physicians a favorable rating. J. Med. Internet Res. 13, e95 (2011)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Lagu, T., Hannon, N.S., Rothberg, M.B., Lindenauer, P.K.: Patients’ evaluations of health care providers in the era of social networking: an analysis of physician-rating websites. J. Gen. Intern. Med. 25, 942–946 (2010)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Hanauer, D.A., Zheng, K., Singer, D.C., Gebremariam, A., Davis, M.M.: Public awareness, perception, and use of online physician rating sites. JAMA 311, 734–735 (2014)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Hong, Y.A., Liang, C., Radcliff, T., Wigfall, L., Street, R.: What do patients say about physicians and hospitals online? A systematic review of studies on patient online reviews. J. Med. Internet Res. 21, e12521 (2019)Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Emmert, M., Halling, F., Meier, F.: Evaluations of dentists on a German physician rating Website: an analysis of the ratings. J. Med. Internet Res. 17, e15 (2015)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Services: Improving access to oral health care for vulnerable and underserved populations. National Academies Press (2012)Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Institute of Medicine of the National Academies Committee on an Oral Health Initiative: Advancing oral health in America. National Academies Press, Washington, DC (2011)Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Blei, D.M., Ng, A.Y., Jordan, M.I.: Latent Dirichlet allocation. J. Mach. Learn. Res. 3, 993–1022 (2003)zbMATHGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Newman, D., Lau, J.H., Grieser, K., Baldwin, T.: Automatic evaluation of topic coherence. In: Human Language Technologies: The 2010 Annual Conference of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics, pp. 100–108 (2010)Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality: NQMC Measure Domain Framework.

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Western University of Health SciencesPomonaUSA
  2. 2.Louisiana Tech UniversityRustonUSA
  3. 3.University of South CarolinaColumbiaUSA

Personalised recommendations