An August 3, 2010, article in The Washington Post discussed rating systems for doctors, pointing out that current doctor rating systems are “rudimentary” and “may not reliably reflect a doctor’s abilities.” Well, yes and no. When it comes to measuring technical aspects of diagnosis and treatment, there is probably no reliable system that reflect a doctor’s abilities. On the other hand, we have excellent systems, DrScore.com among them, that are able to reliably assess patients’ satisfaction with their care.
The Post article points out that the standard way to find a doctor is to ask friends and family members for advice or to trust a referral from another doctor. These are very reasonable, albeit limited approaches. Online systems that assess and report patient satisfaction are extensions of the “ask friends and family” approach. These systems may not be a reliable measure of a doctor’s ability to make a diagnosis and prescribe an accurate treatment, but they are a reliable measure of how happy patients were with the care they received.
And that is something worth knowing.
A tremendous advantage of an online rating system like DrScore.com over the traditional friends and family approach is that the online data collection allows doctors to find out how they are doing, a critical tool to help doctors do what they want to do most — give their patients great medical care!