Tag Archive for ‘online physician reviews’
Each year, the Resident and Associate Society of the American College of Surgeons (RAS-ACS) hosts a symposium at the Clinical Congress featuring a debate on a timely issue in surgical training or practice. In addition to the symposium debate, the RAS-ACS Issues Committee coordinates an essay competition open to all RAS members. The topic for this year’s symposium and essay competition was Patient Rankings: Should Patient Feedback Affect Our Pay and Delivery of Care? The top “pro” and “con” essayists are invited to serve as panelists at the symposium, and the second-place pro and con essays are featured in the Bulletin.
Although physician review website (PRW) metrics are less than comprehensive and may be inaccurate measures of physician skill, these sites have successfully accomplished what government agencies and professional organizations have been unable to do—broadly disseminate user-friendly, search engine-optimized information on physician performance. The merits of these sites may be debatable, but as more patients are drawn to PRWs, physicians and professional organizations will be challenged to eventually accept them or provide an alternative that is just as accessible, understandable, and applicable to all physicians.
Closer inspection reveals that medical and surgical practice and education within the U.S. are similar fields. Both involve a special relationship between an educator (physician/teacher) and a learner (patient/student). Importantly, both continue to face challenges regarding cost-effectiveness and performance evaluation. The crux of the issue lies in the idea that the learner has the ability to provide critical feedback that may enhance educator performance. This suggests that the learner and educator can switch roles—an idea not often acknowledged in either field. This article addresses how patient feedback should be incorporated into the delivery of quality health care and how education reform is helping to set a preliminary example for medicine to follow.
Today, patients have a voice through publicly reported surveys and unregulated social media (Facebook, Twitter, HealthGrades.com, and others), which allow users to compare and evaluate surgeons in a Web-based setting. In the near future, patient feedback may be used as a measure of health care quality, which will affect physician reimbursement and quite possibly the sustainability and viability of surgical practices. However, scorn and resistance to patient feedback systems are strong and many physicians believe that the process is flawed.
This article introduces the topic of this year’s Resident and Associate Society Symposium: online patient rankings of physicians. The authors describe the aspects of the patient care experience that typically are rated in online physician reviews, offers details on the potential benefits and drawbacks regarding these reviews, and speculates on the future of these websites.
In his introduction to the RAS-ACS–themed issue, which centers on the evolving demands in resident training, Brian J. Santin, MD, Chair of RAS-ACS, compares the recent dramatic changes in surgical practice and training to the increased diversity in culinary techniques, and provides an overview of the changes that occurred in graduate medical education over the last 20 years, including the implementation of work-hour restrictions and a focus on the delivery of patient-centered, coordinated care.