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Health System-Based Physician Reviews Pick Up Steam

April 23, 2014
by Gabriel Perna
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In Salt Lake City, Atlanta, Physicians are Being Reviewed by Patients

In late 2012, the University of Utah Health Care become the first academic medical center to post physician reviews. In 2014, the concept has become quite popular among its patients.

According to the healthcare provider, in March of this year, pageviews of physician profiles totaled 122,072. This is up from 32,144 page views that were tallied before the system's effort to publish online physician reviews and comments had been fully adopted. The University uses more than  40,000 patient surveys to rate its physicians on nine measures using a five-star system since the system went live. Patients receive an electronic survey within a few days of their appointment and are asked to complete questions on the care they received. Feedback is then posted on the website.

While not every physician has received enough reviews to warrant a ranking, some physicians, like Howard T. Sharp, M.D., Chief of the Division of General Obstetrics & Gynecology, have received more than 340 patient ratings and 130 patient comments.

"There are many systems out there looking at how to do this," Brian Gresh, senior director of interactive marketing and web at the University of Utah Health Care, said in a statement. "We're pleased that we've set the bar high and can serve as a model in the U.S. for how to post physician reviews online successfully."

One such organization? Piedmont Healthcare in Atlanta recently announced that it will begin to post uncensored patient reviews of its patients.  Already, approximately 210 Piedmont physician profiles showcase patient reviews on piedmont.org and the organization expects to get the remaining 800-plus physicians to display publicly once they earn 30 or more reviews.

“Piedmont is one of two health systems in the country to publish reviews at this scope,” Matt Gove, chief marketing officer at Piedmont, said in a statement. “Publishing these reviews is about becoming more transparent about our customer experience and also empowering the public to make informed decisions about their health.”

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