Rate a Doctor?

For years Doc Tom urged us to facilitate patients’ publicly rating doctors as a way to accelerate e-pateints movement. Alan (DrGreene) was excited about this, even though he was a physician, but I was afraid it would open Pandora’s box. In the winter of 2006 we had another conversation with Doc Tom about patients rating doctors. I didn’t have a tape recorder, so I can’t quote him, but I walked away understanding that figuring this out needed to be a priority. Tom’s vision was a rating system much like amazon.com for books, Yahoo! for movies, and a thousand other sites for everything from restaurants to mechanics. My concern was that people might only review a physician after they’d had a bad experience and while that information is helpful, what e-patients really want to find out is “who is the best doctor me?”

With Tom’s gentle push forward we formed a relationship with a start-up to create a review database that encourages people to rate their favorite doctors. Shortly after our time with Doc Tom we had a conversation with Gale Wilson-Steel, founder of CareSeek. She was very excited about getting patients to review doctors, but Alan shared with her an idea he’s long held – nurses have a birds-eye view of physicians and are able to evaluate medical knowledge, patient rapport, and skill. With our prompting, Gale founded a companion company — Nurses Rate Doctors. Both sites share a database to create a comprehensive pool of physician ratings focusing on identifying and reviewing the best doctors in every specialty. Nurses are offered incentives such as free (very cool) CME opportunities to encourage them to share their observations.

And now it’s here — DrGreene.CareSeek.com is open to all, as a place for anyone looking for a great doctor and everyone who wants to rate the doctors they know. For this tool to really be effective, we need people (just like you) to review your doctors. So login now! It’s quick. It’s easy. And it will make a difference.

Thanks Doc Tom. You’re still making a big difference!

Cheryl Greene, Co-Founder and Executive Producer, DrGreene.com


Posted in: e-pts resources | net-friendly docs | news & gossip | patient networks | positive patterns | pt/doc co-care | pts as teachers | reforming hc | trends & principles





7 Responses to “Rate a Doctor?”

  1. Having spent the first 15 years of my career in and around many hospitals, this concept makes a lot of sense to me. Nurses have much better smarts than an “average” person to assess a physician’s clinical skills and bedside manner.

    To refine this further, the nurse that heads up QI in a hospital is the first person I’d go to to ask for a personal recommendation about a doctor’s quality and demeanor.

    There is a possible dark side…competent physicians with a poor personal skills could become the target of bashers.

  2. Susannah Fox says:

    Thanks, Cheryl! Jane Sarasohn-Kahn’s blog today highlights the Zagat venture into doctor ratings (see http://www.healthpopuli.com/). What do you think of their model?

  3. h20 says:

    Nurses have much better smarts than an “average” person to assess a physician’s clinical skills and bedside ……

    Did you just write that? So, :”Nurses” have much better smarts than the average person. Wow that’s pretty sad. You are offensive on so many levels here. F.Y.I. you don’t need to be in the healthcare field to be a good judge of how you are being treating and the quality or lack thereof by a physician. What an absoltely ridiculous and prejudice statement that is. .

    Thank goodness people are understanding that Doctor’s are not almighty God.. Doctor’s like any other profession have to be responsible and provide the patient with excellent quality of care. As for bedside manner.. If a physician has no bedsidemanner then it sends a loud message to the patient that :”I’m just not that into this” For me personally. they have to have both a very approachable attitude and excellent crudentials. If they don’t have both, I look elsewhere. The Doctor works for you and if you are not satisfied then you move on. P.S. if a Doctor has poor personal skills then they should probably re-think their career choice considering they will be handling and be responsible for human life. smh laters

  4. Cheryl Greene says:

    Hi h20. Thanks for your reply. I appreciate your concern that I may be saying that an average person doesn’t have the skill he or she needs to evaluate a physician before using his or her services. Here’s what I really think — some people do just fine and some people need / want help. That’s not meant to be an insult, just an observation.

    I often answer the phones at DrGreene.com and I regularly get calls asking for advice finding a great doctor in the callers area. I don’t personally know many great doctors in areas outside my own so I routinely recommend asking local nurses as a resource. Nurses are a very important part of the healthcare team — just one part, but an important one.

    Hope that helps to clarify.


  5. Revere says:

    Think that h2o is bang on. Docs need to be held accountable for what they do and how they act and for their everything. I had some lacky inject my arm with a cortisone shot and my arm went into spasms right then and there and the incompetent said to me and my wife :”OOOps, I am used to working in a vets office” sawwwwy. These docs will try anything to get cheap help even if it means putting the patients at risk and breaking laws. I’m no genius but you saying a nurse is smarter than me is an insult. Go take a cheap shot at someone right in front of you rather than use this site to take cheap shots at peeps. HIgh fives for H20. You said it nicely I aint that

  6. Revere, I don’t think Vince intended a cheap shot at all. I took his point to be that nurses work constantly with physicians and have more experience to draw on. Sorry you had a bad experience, but I wouldn’t generalize about the “smarts” of any profession or class of people. I think we’re all smart about some things, less smart about others, no?

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