Transparency improves physician performance

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Transparency improves physician performance

by Lauren Dubinsky, Senior Reporter | October 08, 2014
Patty Riskind
When hospitals make patient experience data transparent, it enhances physician performance and creates more patient-centered care, according to a recent report conducted by Press Ganey. The report highlights three health systems that were pioneers in making their patient experience data available to the general public.

More and more patients in the U.S. are starting to use online reviews to decide which physicians they want to see. A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that 59 percent of adults in the U.S. believe that online reviews are important when selecting a physician.

However, many physicians are skeptical of the online reviews because they feel that the opinions reflect a non-representative sample of patients. Because of that, health systems are starting to take matters into their own hands.

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"Patients are increasingly relying on physician reviews to make informed decisions about where and from whom they receive care," Patty Riskind, chief client experience officer at Press Ganey, wrote to DOTmed News. "Organizations that adopt transparency strategies, posting physician reviews online, have a strategic advantage."

The University of Utah Health Care in Salt Lake City became the first health system in the country to create a physician-review website in December 2012. The physicians were getting fed up with the consumer review websites and they realized that they can create their own website with the 60,000 plus patient surveys they received each year.

They decided to make the positive, neutral and negative reviews transparent, except reviews that were deemed libelous or compromised patient confidentiality. "The only way organizations truly benefit from implementing transparency strategies is by sharing all feedback, positive, negative, and neutral," wrote Riskind. "This strategy ensures that patients are getting reliable and unbiased information to make informed choices about their care, which is a concern with other third-party physician review sites that may lack a significant number of responses and are at risk for fraudulent reviews."

As a result, their physician-profile page views rose from 32,144 before implementation to 122,072 after it was implemented. Additionally, the system's overall satisfaction rating gradually improved.

In April 2014, Piedmont Healthcare in Atlanta became the second health system in the country to create a physician-review website. They experienced a 200 to 300 percent increase in web traffic on their physicians' profile pages.

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