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Health Care

Physician-Rating: Diagnosing the Doctor Online

Physician-rating website sees jump in patient evaluations of health care experience.

Published: Tuesday, June 1, 2010 - 17:07

(DrScore.com: Winston-Salem, NC) -- Patients’ interest in directing their own health care, combined with increasing comfort using online sources to seek and share information, are reasons why the physician-rating website DrScore.com has experienced a dramatic increase in traffic and physician ratings during the past year, according to the company. Since June 2009, more than 73,000 physician ratings have been posted—nearly double the number during the previous 12-month period.

The DrScore site, which currently has a cumulative total of more than 160,000 physician ratings, is a scientifically validated source used by patients to search for and rate doctors. “Internet-savvy patients have long used the web for gathering information about their health and medical conditions,” says Dr. Steve Feldman, founder of DrScore and a practicing dermatologist. “What we are finding now is that they are more comfortable going online to share information about their physicians to make sure the patient voice is heard.”

Unlike other physician-rating websites, DrScore actively partners with physicians, medical practices, and hospitals to provide them with ongoing patient satisfaction information. Subscribing health organizations encourage patients to log onto the DrScore site after treatment to evaluate the quality of their health care experience. These patient ratings are then summarized in quarterly reports provided back to the organization, evaluating everything from accessibility of parking to time spent with the physician.

“Since the beginning of 2010, the number of people who visited our site has been tremendous—more than 1.3 million visitors in the past five months,”  reports Feldman. “We attribute this success to the fact that DrScore is supported by doctors who are proactively seeking patient feedback to improve the patient-care experience and the fact that patients are increasingly taking charge of their health and utilizing the best tools available to them.” 

Feldman points to the increasing support by physicians of patient satisfaction research and acceptance of the Internet as a cost-effective and valid data-gathering tool. “In the past, many practices had patients complete paper surveys that were then tallied and analyzed by staff,” says Feldman. “By using DrScore, the physician simply hands the patient a card with the DrScore website information, and the patient can complete the online survey in less than five minutes. Then, every quarter that physician receives a detailed analysis of his or her patient satisfaction ratings.”

The DrScore survey reports are designed to indicate actionable items for improving the patient experience. “We want physicians to know what they are doing well and where they can do better,” says Feldman. “This information is hugely beneficial not only to the physician but also to the patient.”

Feldman expects the numbers of visitors and patient ratings at DrScore.com to continue to grow since the company recently improved the website's design and navigation. “Now when you log onto the DrScore site, it is immediately clear where you need to go depending on your goal—whether you are a patient who wants to rate a physician, a patient who is searching for a physician in his or her location, or a physician or practice manager who is looking for information about setting up surveys through DrScore for the practice,” says Feldman.

DrScore.com’s online patient satisfaction survey was recently recognized for its scientific validity by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), an organization with the mission to improve the quality, safety, efficiency, and effectiveness of health care for all Americans. The DrScore survey has now has been added to AHRQ’s National Quality Measures Clearinghouse (NQMC), a database and website for information on specific evidence-based quality measures and measure sets. The clearinghouse is sponsored by AHRQ to promote widespread access to quality measures by the health care community.

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About The Author

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DrScore . com

Founded by Dr. Steve Feldman, DrScore.com is an interactive online survey site where patients can rate their physicians, as well as find a physician based on their service-level preference. DrScore’s mission is to improve medical care by giving patients a forum for rating their physicians and by giving doctors an affordable, objective, nonintrusive means of documenting the quality of care that they provide. DrScore ratings may also be accessed through the iNeedaDoc iPhone application. For more information, visit www.drscore.com.