Healthcare News & Insights

Hospitals offer their own doctor reviews online

Nowadays, review sites for hospitals and healthcare providers are everywhere. To make themselves stand out from the pack, and to promote transparency, some hospitals have created their own review process, allowing patients to rate their doctors through the facility’s website. 

medical-team-conferenceWhile hospitals don’t usually have reviews of their doctors on their websites, the number of facilities that offer this feature is steadily growing.

The latest hospital to start posting its own doctors’ ratings online is North Shore LIJ Health System, based in New York.

According to a Wall Street Journal article about the hospital’s new ratings system, other hospitals that provide reviews about their doctors include Cleveland Clinic, Wake Forest Baptist Health and University of Utah Health Care.

Hospitals who add a ratings section to their site tend to make the move not only to increase transparency, but to provide patients with more credible ratings than those on other sites, such as Yelp and Healthgrades.

Patients can only rate a doctor at North Shore LIJ if they’ve recently visited the hospital. Other review sites don’t ask for that level of authentication, so their reviews may not be genuine.

In addition, North-Shore LIJ’s site only shows a rating for a provider in one of two scenarios:

  • the doctor opts in to the rating system, or
  • at least 30 patients have provided ratings for a doctor.

The hospital goes to great lengths to ensure the reviews on its website are as balanced as possible. Doctors are given detailed scorecards showing how they rank among patients. They have the right to appeal any online comments they don’t find fair, and the hospital won’t publish any comments or reviews with vulgar language.

Future picture for hospital reviews

Experts quoted in the WSJ article predict that more hospitals will start providing their own ratings system for doctors and providers, especially since so many other organizations are publishing ratings about hospital care already. What better way to counter negative reviews on other sites than to publish your own patients’ positive experiences straight on your website?

Plus, since patients have such easy access to third-party rating sites and other info about hospital quality via the Internet, it only makes sense for hospitals to put their own rating systems in the mix.

Hospitals that want to create their own online review system need to establish posting and ratings guidelines to keep inaccurate reviews from skewing ratings. It’s a good idea to take a page from North Shore LIJ and have patients verify that they recently stayed in the hospital.

Facilities must also take steps to provide patients with the most unbiased reviews possible, being careful not to automatically flag every less-than-glowing review for deletion. Honest, verifiable opinions should be presented to patients – positive or negative.

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