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Posts Tagged ‘physician’

Suppose there was a story in the newspaper with a headline like this:

Pope calls for an end of Internet posting about rogue priests

And let’s suppose the article went on to say something like:

After meeting with the Council of Cardinals, the Pope called for ending Internet postings about rogue priests.  The Pontiff’s spokesman said that the Pope and the Cardinals agreed, after seeing a profusion of websites rating priests and posting comments about problems in the Church, that such posting was not only defamatory to priests and the Church but also unfair because priests were not permitted to respond to the postings or even to acknowledge that the poster was a parishioner.  The Pontiff’s spokesman decried the fact that only unhappy Catholics were posting material about their priests, giving people a very biased perception.  As a solution, an American Cardinal has suggested that the Church might try having church-going parishioners sign a contract in which the parishioner would agree not to post online any material about the priest or their church service.

Of course, this is just an exercise of the imagination.  But it is an interesting  to consider, particularly because many doctors have espoused contracts with patients as an answer to the “problem” of Internet rating of doctors.

The Internet is a tool, a powerful tool, which massively expands people’s ability to communicate, transmit and spread information and disinformation.  Doctors are rightly concerned about their reputations and the potential for Internet posts by patients (or by people claiming to be patients) to wrongfully accuse doctors of malfeasance, incompetence or greed.  But the genie is out of the bottle.
Doctors need not give up hope, however.  The Internet is an equally powerful tool to let the public know about the real quality of care that doctors are giving patients on a day-to-day basis.  By encouraging patients to rate their doctors online, doctors can give the public a much more representative view of what American medicine is like.  Doctors devote their lives to the quality of care they provide patients.  There’s no reason to hide. In fact, proposals to limit the public’s ability to communicate their experiences with their physicians are counterproductive, only making it look like doctors have something to hide.  Embracing online rating will help increase public awareness of the dedication of physicians to their patients.

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February — the month of Valentine’s Day and love. In the next week, we will be releasing who is America’s Most Loved Doctor, a doctor who had a significant number of ratings, along with the highest average rating, during 2010.

Last year’s America’s Most Loved Doctor was Thomas Selznick, DO, a family practitioner in Livonia, Michigan, with Livonia Family Physicians. His overall score was a 9.96 out of 10, and patient after patient described how ‘caring’ he was, how he takes time with the patient, listens and doesn’t hurry.

Who will be this year’s most loved doctor? I’ll give you a hint — it’s a doctor from the south this year, and it’s not a family practitioner.

Do you have a favorite doctor that you would like to see as America’s Most Loved Doctor for 2011? The way to do it is to provide feedback about your doctor through a DrScore.com survey. Rate your doctor and encourage other patients to rate him or her, too!

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Are obstetricians and gynecologists more friendly and caring than other specialists?.

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Here is the latest press release from DrScore. This paper comparing patient satisfaction among different specialties was published by Dove Medical Press in January.

 

DrScore Researchers Find OB/GYNs Rate Higher than Other Specialists in
Caring and Friendly Attitude

Paper on patient satisfaction published by Dove Medical Press

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (Jan. 27, 2011) – Overall patient satisfaction ratings and ratings of doctors’ caring and friendly attitude are higher for obstetricians and gynecologists compared to other specialists, according to researchers at DrScore.com. The paper, Patient Satisfaction with Obstetricians and Gynecologists Compared with Other Specialties: Analysis of US Self-Reported Survey Data, (Isha Patel, Jongwha Chang, Jatin Srivastava, et al) was published in the journal Patient Related Outcome Measures by Dove Medical Press in January.

 

“There have been very few studies in the United States evaluating patient satisfaction across different specialties,” said patient satisfaction expert Steve Feldman, M.D., the founder of the online doctor review site DrScore.com. “Our research team wanted to see whether certain specialties had higher levels of patient satisfaction, and they found that obstetricians and gynecologists were 55 percent more likely to earn a high patient satisfaction rating and three times more likely to earn a good rating in caring and friendly attitude.”

 

The researchers utilized data from a national, validated, Web-based survey among 7,938 anonymous patients who rated their physicians according to satisfaction with treatment on the basis of their experience during their most recent outpatient visits. Patients rated physicians on a scale of 0 (not at all satisfied) to 10 (extremely satisfied). According to the study, when asked to rate their satisfaction with the physician’s caring and friendly attitude, the average rating for obstetricians and gynecologists was 6.65 and 5.86 for other specialists. Other key contributors to overall patient satisfaction include wait time and time spent with the doctor. Overall, patients waited a significantly shorter time for obstetricians and gynecologists (average 26.8 minutes) vs. other specialists (average 29.1 minutes). Patients also reported spending more time with their obstetricians and gynecologists (9.5 minutes) vs. other specialists (8.8 minutes).

 

The researchers concluded that patient satisfaction ratings associated with caring and friendly attitude were higher for obstetricians and gynecologists compared to other specialists and that doctors’ caring and friendly attitude plays a key role in patients’ satisfaction.

 

“Even though several factors influence patient satisfaction, adoption of factors like reducing waiting times, effective patient–physician communication and involving patients in the decision-making process should aid physicians in achieving optimal patient satisfaction results,” said Dr. Feldman. “The development of online doctor rating websites with a national scope has opened new vistas on the quality of health care delivery, offering researchers new ways to probe patient satisfaction and to identify new ways to enhance the medical care experience.”

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Highlights from the DrScore’s 2010 Annual Report Card on Patient Satisfaction.

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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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Research from DrScore demonstrates that physicians with more reviews have significantly higher ratings.

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DrScore has released the 2010 Annual Report Card on Patient Satisfaction. You can find the press release at BusinessWire or read it below:

Doctor Reviews: Physicians Who Have More Reviews Have Significantly
Higher Ratings, Reports DrScore

Online doctor rating website releases its 2010 Annual Report Card on Patient Satisfaction

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (Jan. 18, 2011) – Doctors should not fear reviews and ratings; in fact, they should embrace them and proactively ask their patients to rate them, according to data from DrScore.com’s 2010 Annual Report Card on Patient Satisfaction. DrScore researchers found that doctors who had 10 or more ratings on the website had an average rating that was two points higher than the average rating of all doctors on the site.

“For 2010, the average rating for physicians across the site was 7.1,” said patient satisfaction expert Steve Feldman, M.D., the founder of the online doctor review site DrScore.com. “However, doctors with 10 or more ratings had an average score of 9, and doctors with 20 or more ratings had an average score of 9.1 — a significant increase.”

The Annual Report Card is based on the results of more than 54,000 ratings by patients who completed a patient satisfaction online survey to review their doctors at DrScore.com during 2010. This year’s Report Card also showed that while the average rating for all physicians decreased slightly from 2009 to 2010, (7.4 to 7.1), it increased for those physicians with 20 or more ratings — from 8.9 to 9.1.

“Doctors who have a higher number of ratings are getting more representative scores, and they are probably more attuned to patient satisfaction,” Dr. Feldman said. “Instead of having one patient who may be frustrated or angry go fill out survey, these doctors are most likely asking all of their patients provide feedback. That means the happy patients are being heard, too — not just the ones who have a problem.

“We hope that doctors will see these scientifically verifiable results and start proactively asking their patients to go online and complete a patient satisfaction survey,” Dr. Feldman continued. “Doctors are doing great work, and the majority of patients are happy — it’s information that often gets lost in the news cycle.”

By asking patients to rate them, doctors are also providing better information for consumers/patients, so they can make more informed choices. “Obtaining more physician ratings is better for doctors and better for patients,” Dr. Feldman said. “It’s a win-win.”

As in years past, the Report Card found that wait time was an important indicator of patient satisfaction. Interestingly, this year’s survey found that seniors (65+) have become less tolerant of long waits. When they had to wait an hour or more for the doctor vs. 15 minutes or less, they experienced a 37 percent drop (compared to 2009’s 27 percent drop) in their average satisfaction rating.

“In 2009, the data showed that younger patients placed a greater emphasis on waiting time with regards to being satisfied with their doctor visit, while those over 65 were more forgiving,” Dr. Feldman said. “However, that gap has closed. This year, the 37 percent drop for patients 65 and over was extremely close to the 40 percent drop for patients 34 and under.”

For 2010, researchers at DrScore.com also evaluated differences in patient satisfaction between men and women, but found the data surprisingly comparable. The only slight differences were how men and women weighted certain aspects of care. In general, men tended to rank treatment success and treatment follow-up as more important relative to other aspects, while women ranked thoroughness and friendliness higher.

According to DrScore data, there are two issues that can destroy patient satisfaction: long waits to see the doctor or a visit with the doctor that is too short. “If the doctor is running late and keeps the patient waiting, he or she should explain the reasons for the delay and take plenty of time with that patient so the patient knows the doctor cares,” Dr. Feldman said. “In addition, it’s important that doctors provide a way for patients to give feedback.”

Dr. Feldman suggested several ways doctors could increase their patient feedback:

  • At the end of the office visit, ask patients if they have any questions or would like to provide any feedback about the physician, staff or office.
  • Give patients a card asking for their feedback and directing them to an online doctor review site such as www.drscore.com.
  • Provide a link to an online doctor review site such as http://www.drscore.com on the home page of the practice’s website with an invitation to “Give Us Feedback!”

“At DrScore, we believe that to provide the best care possible, physicians need patient feedback via balanced, validated, online patient surveys,” Dr.Feldman said. “Great medical care is about more than just providing the right diagnosis and the right treatment, and doctors need patient feedback to actively improve their quality of care.”

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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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