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Posts Tagged ‘physician ratings’

At one of my recent talks, a doctor expressed his concern with the evolution of systems that will begin rating the quality of doctors. He described how if a very sick patient is transferred to his care and the patient dies—for reasons totally beyond the doctor’s control—it would cause his quality score to look very poor. I empathize with his concerns. Assessing the quality of doctors’ treatment results will be highly dependent on the ability to control for the baseline severity of patients’ illnesses—what is called “risk adjustment.” With the complexity of human physiology, psychology, and sociology, it will be very difficult to adjust for the impact of those characteristics on doctors’ results.

DrScore reports how happy patients are with their doctors. Are these patient satisfaction ratings equally difficult to interpret? While there may be some variation in the population at how likely a patient would give a 10 or a 0 on a rating scale, overall, patients are accurate reporters of how satisfied they are. And whether patients have a mild disease or a severe one, if they have family support or they don’t, if they take their medications well or not, or if they have a host of other co-morbid illnesses or are otherwise well, they should still have an experience with their doctor that leaves them satisfied with the care they are getting.

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2010 Annual Report Card Highlights

The 2010 Annual Report Card is based on 54,191 patient ratings collected at DrScore.com, the online patient satisfaction survey site, during the year 2010. The results provide insight into the strengths and weaknesses of doctors in meeting the needs of their patients.

  • The average rating for all physicians is 7.1 out of 10, a slight decrease from the average rating in 2009 of 7.4, but still indicating an overall high level of patient satisfaction.
  • More than 66 percent of all physician ratings were 9.0 or higher, and 58 percent of all ratings were a perfect 10.
  • The average rating for physicians with 20 or more patient ratings is 9.1 out of 10, which is a slight increase over 2009’s average rating of 8.9.
  • Across the board of patient ratings, patients gave physicians more high scores in 2010 when compared to 2009 both overall and on all aspects of treatment.  Physicians with more ratings had higher average scores.  The subscores that increased from 2009 to 2010 included waiting time, doctor’s friendly/caring attitude, time spent with the doctor, following up on test results and treatment success.
  • Wait time continues to be an important driver of patient satisfaction. This year’s survey found that patients 65 and older have become less tolerant of longer wait times.  In comparing ratings for patients who waited an hour or more with those who waited 15 minutes or less, DrScore found;
  1. Ages 65 and over experienced a 37 percent drop (8.8 to 5.5), a significant difference compared to 2009’s 27 percent decrease
  2. Ages 35 to 64 had a 31 percent drop (8.3 to 5.7), close to 2009’s 32 percent decrease
  3. Ages 34 and under experienced a 40 percent drop (8.3 to 5.1), slightly higher than 2009’s 37 percent decrease.

 

  • There were little differences in patient satisfaction between men and women. In general, men tended to rank treatment success and treatment follow-up higher than other aspects, while women ranked thoroughness and friendliness higher.

 

  • In general, patients rated doctors higher on overall communications in 2010.  Close to 60 percent of the patients who completed the survey gave their doctors a perfect 10 for
  1. How well the doctor answered patient questions (61 percent)
  2. The extent to which the doctor included the patients in decisions about care and treatment (59 percent)
  3. Instructions on how to take care of the patient’s illness or health condition (59 percent)
  4. Thoroughness of exam at check-up (58 percent)

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DrScore heading toward 200,000 physician ratings.

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DrScore crested 186,000 physician ratings today. Help us reach 200,000 fast. Rate your doctor at www.DrScore.com.

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The perfect physician gift? An iPad (and you can use it to invite your patients to rate you).

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Here’s our latest press release from DrScore.com …

DrScore: Physicians Should Tap into iPads, Smart Phones and Handheld Mobile Devices to Improve Patient Satisfaction

Doctors can ask Santa to tuck tech-savvy gifts in their stockings this year

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (Dec. 16, 2010) — Doctors will definitely appreciate an iPad — or any other state-of-the-art handheld mobile device — in their Christmas stockings this year. With sleek styles and a wide range of medical apps, the devices allow physicians to easily interact with patient medical records, explain diseases and medical procedures — and encourage their patients to rate them at the online doctor rating website DrScore.com.

“These days, you are just as likely to find doctors carrying iPads in their white coat pockets along with their stethoscopes,” says patient satisfaction expert Steve Feldman, M.D., founder of DrScore.com. “After using the device to explain a patient’s condition or make notes in the medical record, the physician can click on the I Need a Doctor app or log on to www.drscore.com and ask the patient to take the quick three- to five-minute patient satisfaction survey that looks at key metrics such as overall satisfaction, time spent with doctor, thoroughness of the appointment, appointment follow-up and overall communications, friendliness of the staff and wait time.”

During 2010, DrScore has seen traffic to its website triple, with more physicians actively using the patient feedback provided on the site to improve patient care. “We always encourage physicians to be proactive and invite their patients to rate them online while making it as easy as possible for them to do so,” Dr. Feldman explains.  “Our research at DrScore has shown as that patients are more satisfied when they feel their physician was caring, and devices such as the iPad help break down barriers to communication and provide a shared experience for the physician and patient, leading to a better health care experience for all.”

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About DrScore.com

Founded by Steve Feldman, M.D., DrScore.com is an interactive online survey site where patients can rate their physicians, as well as search for a physician by specialty. DrScore’s mission is to improve medical care by giving patients a forum for rating their physicians, and by giving doctors an affordable, objective, non-intrusive means of documenting the quality of care that they provide. For more information, visit http://www.drscore.com. You can also visit DrScore’s blog, become a fan of DrScore on Facebook or follow DrScore on Twitter @DrScoredotcom.

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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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