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May 3, 2017

Why Advocate Health Care is letting patients rate their doctors

Daily Briefing

Advocate Health Care has become the latest health system to launch a physician star-rating system to improve transparency and make it easier for patients to find the highest-rated doctors in their area.

According to Crain's Chicago Business, about 20 health systems and hospitals have unveiled similar Yelp-like systems where patient feedback is used to rate providers.

To find a safer hospital, Yelp can help—to an extent, study says

Advocate's provider rating system

Advocate's new rating system allows patients who visit its website to access patients' reviews of physicians, along with other information, such as physicians' specialties and contact information.

Advocate's rating system uses the Clinician and Group Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (CGCAHPS) patient satisfactory survey and calculates ratings based on patient responses to a series of questions, such as whether the provider:

  • Explained things in a way that was easy to understand;
  • Gave easy-to-understand instructions about any health questions or concerns;
  • Listened carefully to the patient;
  • Seemed to know the important information about the patient's medical history;
  • Showed respect for what the patient had to say; and
  • Spent enough time with the patient.

Advocate said using the survey helps to ensure that responses come from actual patients who met with a physician or nurse practitioner in an office setting, unlike sites such as Yelp which allow any user to post, according to Crain's Chicago Business.

A physician needs at least 30 responses and three comments to have a rating published on Advocate's website. The star ratings on the website correspond to how favorably a patient responds to the series of questions. 

Doctors who receive a negative review will not be penalized, unless a pattern emerges, in which case that specific problem will be addressed, according to Advocate Medical Group President Vince Bufalino. However, Bufalino declined to say how such problems would be addressed (Crain's Chicago Business/Modern Healthcare, 4/27).

Get to know the changing physician workforce

Concerns about physician burnout have made national headlines, and the stresses facing health care providers continue to grow. Vendors that want to work with physicians need to understand this new clinical environment before they can succeed.

Check out the infographic to get a breakdown of the changes that are impacting the physician workforce. You'll also learn four new rules of engagement to help suppliers and service firms realign their offerings with the realities of health care providers.

Download the Infographic

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