Saturday, February 27, 2010

Making the Grade: How Doctor-grading Websites Can Impact Your Practice, and what You Can Do to Lessen the Blow

"Her MA is very rude, uncompassionate. Dr. ABCD doesn't return phone calls. They're not helpful and not good with following up with the care plan for patients. We're new seeing this doctor, but will never go back. I would not recommend this practice at all!!!!!!"

How would you handle a comment like this when found on your patient satisfaction surveys? What if, even worse, this comment was found about you on the Internet. This is an actual comment about a physician found on a website that rates physicians. So, what is doctor grading, how have things changed recently, and what can you do about it?
Rating physicians has been part of the "business" for years. In the past, the grading was done formally by utilization review or quality assurance committees at the hospital. It has also been "controlled" by lawsuits and by the various state medical boards. This type of information was maintained "internally" to the medical community.
The other method of rating was via word of mouth. This has been the most effective way to market a practice, but it also has been equally effective in losing patients. It has often been stated that one bad experience will be heard by 10 others, whereas one good experience will only be heard by one.
As we move into the new decade, the era of public rankings is moving full speed ahead, and the real issue is the online rating sites and what they can do for, or against, you.

More ...