For the past fifteen years that I have been an employed physician the subject of patient satisfaction scores have been a very sore subject amongst doctors. No one ever buys into it. The reasons are probably many. The biggest objection is having your payments affected it by it. I understand that. The companies that do these surveys are suspect and their measures of validity and statistical significance leave me doubting the process. One company uses 4o returned satisfaction scores to determine a doctor’s rating. Sounds a little lame to me. The wrong patient wanting a narcotic could lead you down a dark road. Also, this job is to be a consultant and partner in a patient’s achievement of health. Many times the patients don’t want to hear the things you are saying. I have blogged about this before. Over at KevinMD.com they discuss how rich hospitals consistently get better scores. This is a valid concern. What about those hospitals and doctors located in underserved areas? Over at the American Medical News they discuss how for-profit websites that rely on anecdotal patient reports are the easiest ones to find using the Google search engine. We are really in murky waters here. I hear the grumblings all the time, even in other industries (auto service). Please comment on your concerns over patient satisfaction scores and how it affects bonus pay, tarnishes reputations, are unreliable, etc.
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