I recently got involved in an online commentary in response to an article in Forbes (“Why Rating Your Doctor is Bad for Your Health”). The gist of the article was that the physicians interviewed in the story shared that they were over-treating and over-ordering tests in attempts to improve their patient satisfaction survey scores and avoid reprimand from administrators.
These physicians claimed they had gotten poor scores on the satisfactions surveys and felt the only way to improve them was to write orders and aggressively treat regardless of the level of care warranted. Frankly, I was appalled first that providers would think this would actually increase patient satisfaction and secondly that they would openly admit to ordering unnecessary tests and treatments.
I’m amazed to realize that there are still people out there arguing about whether or not it’s right to for patients to “judge” them. Here’s a tip that will help you—that ship has sailed, and our consumer-driven healthcare is a reality. And guess what? Patients are consumers, and they are judging you regardless of whether or not they fill out a survey. Believe me, patients are not just talking, they’re tweeting, facebooking, and yelping to the masses. I’d rather endure a brutally honest survey so that I could make improvements. It’s time to embrace the era of transparency and accept that the patients’ voice is being heard.