Posts Tagged ‘patients’
Posted in health care reform, patient satisfaction, transparency, tagged doctor reviews, doctors, healthcare, medicine, online doctor ratings, patient satisfaction, patients, physician-patient relationship, transparency in medicine on January 12, 2011| Leave a Comment »
Posted in health care reform, medicine, patient safety, patient satisfaction, tagged Dr. Evan Levine, DrScore, Getting Better Health Care, health care reform, healthcare, Healthcare — A Behind the Scenes Look, medicine, patients, taking advantage of patients, unethical doctors, What Your Doctor Won't (or Can't) Tell You on January 6, 2011| 2 Comments »
Doctors strive to give their patients great medical care, but Dr. Evan Levine, author of the book, What Your Doctor Won’t (or Can’t) Tell You, and of the blog, Healthcare – A Behind the Scenes Look, believes there’s another side to the story:
Doctors engaging in unethical practices and taking advantage of patients to make money.
Hear from Dr. Levine and find out what he thinks you should watch out for on Getting Better Health Care.
Posted in patient satisfaction, tagged bankers, competency, customer service, doctors, DrScore, empathy, medicine, online physician ratings, patient care, patient satisfaction, patients, physicians, reliability, responsiveness on December 14, 2010| Leave a Comment »
I noticed on the back of a banker’s business card it said:
“Reliable, responsive, empathtic and competent service.”
We docs are trained to give competent service: the right diagnosis, the right medicine and skilled surgery. But like the customers in a bank, our patients also deserve our attention to reliability, responsiveness and empathy.
Yes, medicine is a science, but it is also a highly personal experience.
Posted in patient satisfaction, tagged doctor, doctor ratings, doctor reviews, DrScore, find a doctor, online doctor ratings, patient satisfaction survey, patients, physician, physician ratings, physician review, rate a doctor, rate a physician, Rate MD, searching for a doctor, thankfulness, Thanksgiving on November 16, 2010| Leave a Comment »
Here’s DrScore’s latest press release on why physicians and patients should be thankful for online doctor ratings:
Three Reasons Physicians (and Patients) Can Be Thankful for
Online Doctor Ratings
DrScore: ‘Online rating is here to stay … a few reasons why you can accept it with grace.’
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (Nov. 16, 2010) – Online doctor ratings continue to generate controversy among physicians, and in the news and blogosphere. But proponents and opponents do agree on one thing: The ability to rate your doctor online is here to stay. Thus, the month of Thanksgiving is a great time to highlight three reasons why doctors and patients should be thankful for this method of providing feedback.
“Rating your doctor or searching for a doctor online is the 2010 version of asking your neighbor for or providing your neighbor with a recommendation — they expand our ability to find out about other people’s experiences,” says patient satisfaction expert Steve Feldman, M.D, the founder of DrScore.com. “Online rating is here to stay — here’s a few reasons why you can accept it with grace.”
No. 1: Every aspect of the clinical encounter is important for patients and physicians.
Yes, the technical medical process — whether the doctor is making the right diagnosis and prescribing the right treatment — is critical to the medical experience. But if the patient sees a shabby office, has a long wait, or feels like the physician is uncaring and dismissive, it can affect the patient’s experience and how well he or she responds to the prescribed treatment.
“I receive quarterly reports that provide constructive feedback on every aspect of the clinical encounter — from parking access to nursing to the actual visit. This allows me to concentrate on areas in which I may need to improve upon,” says Andrew D. Lee, M.D., a dermatologist in private practice in Elkin, N.C. “Early in my career, I received a report in which several patients commented that I did not allow them to participate in developing their treatment plans. Because of this, I immediately began involving my patients in choosing topical vehicles and discussing the benefits and risks of oral medications I prescribed.”
No. 2: Online ratings provide more medical transparency.
Patient access to meaningful information about health care quality is important to highlight both the positive and the negative aspects of health care, according to Dr. Feldman. “Doctors have nothing to fear and much to gain from transparency. It allows patients to see the strong work of physicians and helps physicians do what they want to do most, which is making the medical experience even better.”
Much of the controversy surrounds what should be considered “meaningful information.” For example, one-sided derogatory comments by patients who may have had a negative medical experience are not as meaningful as scientifically validated data that is collected and analyzed. “Constructive feedback is useful, but comments that are hurtful can do more harm than good, especially if they are taken out of context or are one-sided,” says Dr. Lee. “I believe one of DrScore’s strengths is that people who search for a physician on this site only have access to the doctor’s averaged scores, which they may use to objectively compare with other rated physicians.”
Still, doctors may be hesitant to ask patients to rate them online because they are concerned that an isolated criticism from an anonymous source will skew the score. Dr. Feldman feels strongly that the importance of allowing patients to remain anonymous outweighs any negatives. “Anonymity allows patients a greater degree of freedom to say what they really think,” he says. “If patients had to identify themselves, some of those who had something negative to say might feel stifled or intimidated. But it’s important to note that when a doctor has just a few ratings — particularly if they only have one rating — the overall rating may not be truly representative.”
That is why it is important for doctors to ask all their patients to contribute feedback online — and for all patients to consider rating their doctors, according to Dr. Lee. “The more feedback you receive, the more valuable that feedback is, and the more truly representative a doctor’s score is. This is a benefit to both doctors and patients.”
No. 3: Obtaining and utilizing patient feedback effectively will help control costs and improve health care.
Patient satisfaction has an impact on overall health care costs, according to Dr. Feldman. “Patients who are more satisfied with their doctors are more likely to go in for care or see their doctors at their office before they get sicker and have to be treated in a more expensive setting, such as the emergency room,” he says. “In addition, they are more likely to take their prescribed medications and follow other physician recommendations.”
Online doctor rating provides physicians with a valuable means of assessing the quality of the services they provide. In addition, they provide patients with the ability to be active participants in their health care experience by voicing their opinions and choosing their physicians on the basis of more objective criteria than traditional advertising and word-of-mouth.
“Patients deserve to be treated by physicians who provide excellent medical care in a compassionate and respectful manner,” Dr. Lee says. “The doctor rating websites that provide fair and balanced feedback are important in ensuring continuous quality improvement in our clinical practices.”
One of my patients gave me a great gift today, a complaint. So I got to put some of my own advice about handling patient complaints into effect.
According to my patient, he 1) expected to spend time with me, not with the resident I supervise; 2) didn’t like the way I spoke to the resident and student, rather than to the him; and 3) didn’t like the way our staff looked at the computer rather than the patients during the check in process.
Obviously, even at my age, I still have a lot to learn.
Did the comments strike a nerve? Of course! But the fact is, I appreciate that this patient took the time to provide me with that kind of feedback. It will help me do a better job in the future.
Will I still talk to residents and students? Yes, but I will get the patient’s permission first. Will our staff still need to look at the computer while entering patient data? Yes, but they can offer an explanation to the patient before they do so. Will I send a personal apology/thank you note to the patient?
Absolutely, because good customer service is just as important in health care as it is in any service industry.
About Steven FeldmanSteven R. Feldman, M.D., Ph.D., is the founder and CEO of DrScore.com, the leading online patient satisfaction service in the U.S. that provides detailed patient satisfaction reports to some of the country's leading healthcare organizations. Feldman is a professor of Dermatology, Pathology and Public Health Sciences at the Wake Forest University School of Medicine in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.
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