People often forget that the relationship between patient and doctor is essential to cost-effective, quality health care. That is why I have been so pleased to see greater openness and debate regarding patient satisfaction and other measures of medical quality.
I am a strong advocate of encouraging patients to rate their doctors online. It is good for the public and good for doctors.
Even though the current patient rating Web site debate these days tends to center around doctors vs. the online rating site, the idea of obtaining patient feedback has its origins in a movement toward patient-centered care. However, online ratings are most useful when doctors use validated research survey tools and utilize patient feedback to make meaningful improvements to the patient care experience.
The patient’s experience at the physician’s office is one of the most important aspects of our health-care system in the United States, and doctors can only improve when they know which areas need improvement.
I do want to point out, however, that among the physicians who have acquired enough ratings on the DrScore site to be a representative sample (20 or more ratings), the mean score was very high – a 9.3 out of 10. The patient-doctor relationship is essentially strong. This is great news for
physicians and patients because a quality patient experience is an integral part of achieving the goals of health-care reform.