Today's patients are increasingly relying on online reviews to help them determine which health care providers, dentists, surgeons and specialists best reflect their needs. While this raises some obvious concerns about the validity of these reviews, HealthData Management has reported on some of the many benefits of this trend.
A recent study, titled "Transparency Strategies: Online Physician Reviews for Improving Care and Reducing Suffering," analyzed the effects of three health systems—University of Utah Health Care, Piedmont Healthcare, and Wake Forest Baptist Health— that decided to offer their own physician-review web sites to allow patients to make informed choices about their care.
The study found that providing patients with access to online reviews led to "measurable performance improvement across multiple metrics including patient engagement, physician alignment and online search visibility."
Press Ganey, who sponsored the study, identified some common characteristics that led to the project's successes that other practices should emulate:
- Using data transparency to renew focus on patient-centered care
- Strong commitment from leadership to transparency and communication
- Sufficient data to address physician concerns about validity of opinions
"Patients are increasingly relying on physician reviews to make decisions about where and from whom they receive care," Patrick T. Ryan, CEO of Press Ganey, wrote in a statement accompanying the study. "By publicly reporting statistically valid results—including comments—organizations have the ability to deliver the information their patients seek while also building alignment and engagement among physicians."
Collecting patient reviews and ensuring their validity can be a significant undertaking. At Patient Approved, we help providers improve their practice by helping them collect and properly analyze patient impressions of their performance.