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Posts Tagged ‘physician reviews’

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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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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I very much enjoy reading Dr. Kevin Pho’s articles.  Today I read his article, “Online doctor ratings aren’t very helpful” online in USA Today. He asks, “Can patients reliably choose a good doctor online?”

I guess one could ask a simpler question, “Can patients reliably choose a good doctor?”  I think the answer to that question is an unequivocal “yes!”  There are great doctors all across the United States.  Does online information help?  The answer again is “yes, certainly.”

State medical boards across the country give people information on doctors’ training and malpractice judgments. The American Board of Medical Specialties gives the public information on doctors’ board certification online, too, at abms.org. (To learn more about the ABMS, listen to ABMS president Dr. Kevin Weiss on the Getting Better Health Care radio program.

Then, there is the question of online doctor rating sites.  Online rating could be a powerful tool, and Dr. Pho makes a great point that doctors should encourage their patients to do online ratings.  Over 1,000 doctors are already encouraging their patients to do online ratings at www.DrScore.com, and, as Dr. Pho rightly notes, the average doctor with 20 or more ratings has a rating of over 9 out of 10.  That’s right, the average doctor—average—is a 9.3 out of 10.  Even “below average doctors” are still very, very good doctors when it comes to patient satisfaction.

Working in medicine, that doesn’t surprise me, because every day I see doctors with an extraordinary commitment to training, to skills and to giving patients great medical care.

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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.

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Here’s DrScore’s latest news release on data collected about seniors rating doctors online. http://bit.ly/bBo7rg

Online rating of doctors is a relatively new thing.  DrScore, one of the first doctor rating Web sites, has now been collecting data for seven years.  Online doctor ratings are used by patients to assess what patients think of their doctors and, importantly, to give feedback to doctors on what doctors and their staff are doing well and what they can do better.

Older Americans are among the most frequent users of medical care.  In the United States, about one in four medical office visits are by patients 65 and older.*  Over half the medical office visits are by people age 45 and higher.  The quality of medical care is of prime importance to older Americans.

We analyzed data from the DrScore.com Web site to find out which patients are most likely to rate their doctors.  Most of the online ratings come from younger people.  While 55 percent of offices visits are by people 45 years old or older, these patients account for only 15 percent of doctor ratings.  Young adults (age 18-44) are about 30 times as likely to rate their visit to the office as are people 65 years of age or older!

There may be several reasons why older patients, the ones who would benefit most from enhancing the quality of medical care, aren’t participating in online doctor rating more often.  Access to the Internet may be one factor, though Internet access is rapidly increasing among seniors.  Another possibility is that seniors may have a different attitude about doctors than younger people do; many seniors may not feel it is there place to tell a doctor how they felt about the quality of the office visit.  If true, this is disappointing, as seniors have special needs that doctors need to be aware of.

Seniors know the importance of voting in political contests.  Rating doctors isn’t altogether different, as doctors need to hear seniors’ voices to know how to tailor their medical services to best meet the needs of their senior patients.

*Data on U.S. medical office visits were obtained from the National Ambulatory Medical Care survey performed by the National Center for Health Statistics.

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One of the issues with online doctor rating sites is that it is very much a one-sided affair.  In other businesses, if a customer made a complaint online, the business would be able to respond.  Not so on doctor ratings sites.  The patient privacy rules in the HIPAA legislation  preclude physicians from even acknowledging someone is their patient, so physicians have no ability to respond if they feel there is an inaccurate post about the care they offer.

This seems unfair to many physicians, and I do agree.  Fortunately, the vast, vast majority of patients are very, very happy with their doctors and their care.

The unlevel playing field problem is exacerbated by the possibility that someone with a personal grudge against a physician could purposefully try to harm the physician’s reputation.  It could be a competitor, an angry former spouse or a patient who felt vindictive for some reason.  While one advantage of an anonymous online feedback system is that it lets patients feel they can give fully open and honest feedback without risk of reprisal, anonymous systems have the potential for abuse, too.

Perhaps there could be a rules change that would let a physician respond if a patient opens the door to a discussion of the care they received. But I find that possibility to be unlikely, especially given all the benefits of strong rules about patients’ privacy.  Some physicians may consider other avenues, like those offered by Medical Justice.

But there is another approach, which  is to do what DrScore does: Don’t post open comments at all.

And actually, I think the best solution is to just get every patient to rate his or her doctor online.  That way, even if one patient does say something bad, the public can see what other patients think in order to determine if the negative comment was an outlier or was really representative of what the doctor was like.

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