Some of my colleagues — other doctors — were recently discussing what to do about a situation. They thought another doctor had provided what they considered sub-optimal care to a loved one.
It was interesting to listen to doctors discussing this topic — it’s something that non-doctors have been talking about for a long time.
My answer to the question, “What to do if you believe the doctor did not provide the best medical care?” Here’s a few suggestions:
- Communicate with the doctor who took care of the patient.
- Respectfully raise your concerns.
- Find out the doctor’s story about what he or she did and what she or he was thinking.
Many times, our impression of the problem disappears when we hear the other person’s side of the story — and that isn’t just limited to the world of medicine. But ultimately, if there is a problem with the care, the doctor needs to know. Providing feedback is essential for doctors to improve.
That’s where doctor rating Web sites, such as DrScore.com come in. If a doctor feels intimidated about contacting another doctor with an issue about the care provided a family member, imagine how much more intimidating it is for patients who are not working in the field of medicine.
I will always believe that giving patients a discreet, anonymous venue means to give doctors feedback — like we do with the http://www.DrScore.com Web site — helps to facilitate feedback and improve patient care in a completely non-threatening way.