Posts Tagged ‘rating doctors online’

A very nice blog post described the difficulty in getting some doctors to recognize the importance of measuring patients’ satisfaction.  The blog post differentiated patient satisfaction from “clinical quality.”

While the blog post was right on the mark in many ways, differentiating patient satisfaction from quality of care may be a mistake.  Patient satisfaction is a critical dimension of the quality of medical care.  Sure, making the right diagnosis and prescribing the right treatment are essential elements of good medical care, but patient satisfaction is an essential element as well.  To achieve great medical care, patients must feel cared for.  The way to find out if that’s being achieved is to ask them.

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I received an advertisement from a doctor rating Web site claiming that anonymous feedback is “Internet graffiti.”

That’s one way to look at it.  But in an area that can be as sensitive and private as medical care, giving patients the opportunity to give doctors feedback anonymously has the advantage of letting patients feel more open about their responses.

Physicians worry about this,  and there are many articles and blogs that discuss how anonymous feedback opens the door and allows people to unfairly trash doctors’ reputations.

In theory, that is possible. But in practice, based on the data we’ve collected at DrScore.com, by and large patients rate their doctors highly.  At most visits doctors get a perfect 10 from their patients when rated on a scale of 0 to 10.

I hope more and more people are encouraged to get online and give their doctor a score.  Doctors’ reputations will benefit from the public seeing a representative sample of patients’ satisfaction scores. And the only way to get that representative sample is to encourage patients to go online and rate their doctors.

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The purpose of rating doctors isn’t to denigrate them, and it isn’t a popularity contest either.

DrScore was founded to help enhance the quality of medical care in the United States. Sure, DrScore ratings could be used to find a good doctor, but there are so many good doctors that I’m not sure doctor rating is really going to help much for finding a good one. Yes, rating doctors online can be a way for patients to vent. But most of the time patients love their doctors, and if there were a major problem with a doctor visit, the right thing to do is to contact the state medical society.

The primary purpose of an online rating site like DrScore is to help patients give their doctors valuable feedback. Every single rating is valuable, letting the doctor know what he or she is doing well and what he or she can do better. Doctor ratings help doctors do what they want to do most: to give their patients an outstanding medical experience at each and every visit. Public ratings have the added benefit of letting the public see the level of care physicians are providing —something that, in general, physicians should be quite proud of.

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