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Posts Tagged ‘online doctor ratings’

Pissed off patients aren’t the only ones who rate doctors — happy ones do, too.

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“You can cite all the statistics you want but I am telling you, that a pissed off patient is about 20 times more likely to post than a happy patient!”

I hear this type of comment quite often from doctors who think doctor reviews and online doctor rating are bad things.  However, I’ve run against the current on many issues in the past.  I don’t mind doing it.  My research found that tanning beds had addictive properties years before it became conventional to think so.  My research on how poorly patients used their medicine changed a lot of thinking in dermatology about how to best treat patients.  Some doctors still don’t believe me when I tell them online doctor rating is good for patients and for doctors.

Looking at individual ratings, on a 0-10 scale where 10 is the best score, the most common score a doctor gets on DrScore.com is a 10.  The next most common score is a 9.  The average score of doctors with 20 or more ratings is OVER 9 out of 10.  It amazes me that anyone familiar with these data believes that only unhappy patients rate doctors.

I can’t say that unhappy patients aren’t more likely to rate their doctor.  What I can say is that doctors have so, so many happy patients that doctors who have 20 or more ratings have an average score of over 9 out of 10.  Doctors shouldn’t be afraid of doctor reviews and online ratings; doctors should embrace online ratings and encourage all patients to rate their doctors.  Doctors have nothing to hide. Letting the public see a representative score of how doctors are doing will help the public see what a good job U.S. doctors are doing.

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A few key messages about online doctor ratings at DrScore.com.

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As we approach the end of the year, I always find it useful to make a list of reasons why we believe online physician rating is an important tool for health care practitioners (and, of course, why we think DrScore is the best!). Here are a few thoughts on why DrScore is a great tool for both consumers and doctors:

A Site for Consumers

  • All doctors need feedback from their patients. I created DrScore.com because I had learned from my own patient feedback that there is much more to great medical care than giving the right diagnosis andthe right treatment. Doctors care about their patients, but they have to make sure the patient knows that they care.
  • As physicians, we want to deliver the best care possible, and across the board, patients are telling us we’re doing a great job.  It’s a fact that often gets lost when the media only focus on the negative experiences that patients have.
  • When patients are satisfied with their physician interaction, they are more likely to follow doctors’ orders. Patient satisfaction leads to improved adherence to prescriptions, better outcomes and ultimately reduced health care costs.
  • DrScore.com is the only Web site where patients can rate their physician and know that their doctor, if he or she is a subscriber, is reviewing their feedback and  taking action. Patients complete an anonymous, validated, online interactive patient survey that are then distributed to their physicians on a monthly basis. These survey cover everything from accessible parking to waiting time and treatment access to time spent with the physician. In turn, physicians can view summaries of their ratings through the site or receive more detailed reports that allow them to “drill down” into the data to improve patient care.
  • Consumers can also use DrScore.com to find a doctor in their community. Doctors are categorized by specialty and community

A Site for Doctors

  • DrScore is a physician rating Web site that physicians send their patients to with the ultimate goal of enhancing the quality of patient care. The site is not a vehicle for selling advertising or a forum for bashing doctors. It’s about helping patients and doctors have the best medical care experience.
  • With DrScore, physicians don’t have to hire a research firm to conduct patient satisfaction research. Instead, they have year-round access to summaries of their ratings through the site and detailed reports that allow them to “drill down” into the data to improve patient care. The data is extremely detailed and actionable, and allows physicians to pinpoint exactly where improvements in patient care need to be made.
  • Doctors should be encouraging their patients to do online ratings in order to determine a truly representative score and find out where improvements need to be made. In today’s customer-service oriented world, positive feedback is equally important so doctors will know what they are doing right and continue to act upon it.
  • Data from DrScore.com has revealed that the amount of time a patient spends with his or her doctor is more likely to impact his or her satisfaction level than the amount of time spent waiting to see the doctor. Patients are willing to wait longer without becoming dissatisfied if they feel that the physician does not rush them through the appointment. A long wait time followed by a brief visit with the doctor is a “toxic combination” resulting in dramatically decreased patient satisfaction rates. I specialize in psoriasis management, and many times I can tell from the door of the office that a patient has psoriasis, and I could write the prescription for medication as I’m walking into the room. But if I did that, I would leave the patient feeling like I didn’t spend any time with him and didn’t care about him — and that patient probably wouldn’t trust my judgment and wouldn’t use the medications I prescribed or follow my treatment plan.
  • The benefits of continually improving your patient satisfaction scores are many – our data shows that satisfied patients are more likely to follow doctor’s orders resulting in better treatment outcomes.  This also leads to lower health care costs and improved productivity and profitability for your practice.

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Now here’s a doc who understands the importance of patient satisfaction.

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Winston-Salem, N.C., dentist Dr. Matthew Keider made the news with the opening of his new $1.2 million dental office.  The facility, designed to give patients a more comfortable dental experience, greets patients with the smell of fresh baked cookies and coffee, rather than the usual dental office odors.

By paying attention to the conditions of the office, the context of the medical encounter, I’m sure Dr. Keider’s patients will have an easier time with their dental procedures.  Dr. Keider is on the right track: attention to patient satisfaction is a key element of great care.

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Reuters reported that the drug company Novartis has developed a chip-in-pill technology that can record when patients take their medication.  This is amazing and, well, a little bit chilling.  The idea in this case is to help make sure people who have had a transplant take the immunosuppressive medication they need to assure that they don’t reject the transplanted organ.

Poor use of medication is way too common.  Much of my research has been on how poorly patients with skin disease use their medicine and what can be done to help patients use their medications better.

Chips-in-pills that are activated by stomach acid is an interesting, “Star Wars” approach that could appeal to some people. And it shows the efforts that the health care system has to go to in order to get patients to use their medications well — which highlights the extent of this intractable problem.

But one  thing that I have found in my research is that making sure patients are satisfied with their care and trusting of their doctors — through the use of patient satisfaction feedback like we do at DrScore.com — is one of the (low-cost) ways to improve medication use.   I’m pretty sure that we could help improve patients’ care more by helping them better use available, low cost medications than by developing new, high cost medications and taking the Star Wars approach to making sure they use it.

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