Medical Ratings – The Controversy
Medical ratings have fallen under the gun for inaccuracies. Should patients use these websites when making decisions about doctors, or should they avoid them? These ratings have their place when used properly and are understood for what they are.
Even though doctors may not feel that medical ratings are accurate, the fact remains that patients use them and depend on them to help make decisions regarding health care. Otherwise, the only tool to know whether or not a particular doctor has a good bedside manner is word of mouth referrals. Those who are new in an area and have not yet made friends to ask for referrals from may not have the ability to get these referrals, making online reviews the only tool they have to make a decision.
So, if doctors fear inaccuracies on these rating websites, but patients are going to use them to make important decisions about their healthcare, what can be done to deal with inaccuracies?
First, patients need to understand that medical ratings do have some room for error. Few doctors, if any, can have a perfect rating through these websites. It simply is not possible for a healthcare professional to please everyone all of the time. Second, doctors need to understand that these websites are used, and they should do what they can to ensure that the important ones have their updated information. They should also encourage current patients to post reviews, particularly if they know their patients are happy with their care. Often, happy patients do not seek ways to post reviews on a doctor, but disgruntled patients do, and this can skew a doctor’s rating.
If you are a patient looking for a new doctor, take the time to find a professional medical ratings website. There are many of these out there, and some are more dedicated to accuracy than others. Research the way in which the website comes to its score for doctors before you put stock in that particular number. Then, compare that website to other similar websites. With several scores to look at, you will get an overall picture of the doctor’s ability to care for his or her patients.
Remember, the goal of medical ratings is not to give you every minute detail about a particular doctor’s practice. Rather, it is to give you an overall picture of the way in which the doctor does business and how satisfied his or her patients are with the care they receive. It makes a valuable tool as you search for a doctor, but should not be considered an “end all” for making a decision about a doctor, but they can and should be used as a resource.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Medical ratings are important tools to help patients gather information about perspective doctors. To learn more, visit: http://www.doctorreviewsonline.com/