UPMC to post doctor ratings online

The University of Pittsburgh Medical Center has posted ratings of its doctors online related to a provider's ability to explain things in an understandable way, his or her listening skills and demonstration of respect for the patient, and whether the patient would recommend the provider to family and friends.

Increasingly, patients are researching online to find doctors and medical information, checking with "Dr. Google" before calling a physician. In an effort to share more and better information with these savvy and engaged consumers, UPMC is the first health care provider in Pennsylvania to publicly share patient satisfaction ratings and comments about its doctors and advanced practice providers.

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Now you can find information about your hospital on Yelp

ProPublica and Yelp recently agreed to a partnersship that will allow information from ProPublica's interactive health databases to begin appearing on Yelp's health provider pages. In addition to reading about consumers' experiences with hospitals, nursing homes and doctors, Yelp users will see objective data about how the providers' practice patterns compare to their peers.

According to NPR, Yelp is adding a ton of health-care data to its review pages for medical businesses to give consumers more access to government information on hospitals, nursing homes and dialysis clinics.

Consumers can now look up a hospital emergency room's average wait time, fines paid by a nursing home, or how often patients getting dialysis treatment are readmitted to a hospital because of treatment-related infections or other problems.

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Hospitals increasingly turning to patients for help

Hospitals are increasingly using patient councils to ask patients what they think.  Such councils often serve as sounding boards for hospital leaders, offering advice on a range of issues. Members are usually patients and relatives who had a range of good and bad hospital experiences and want to contribute to how things work at the hospital.

This trend was created in part by the health law’s quality-improvement provisions and other federal financial incentives, such as the link between Medicare payments and patient satisfaction scores.  But patients also have greater expectations as they increasing pay a larger share of their health care costs.

Sources: Kaiser Health News

Medical home plus health insurance can reduce health inequities for low income adults

Low income adults who were part of a medical home and had health insurance had fewer cost-related access problems, were more likely to be up-to-date with preventive screenings, and reported greater satisfaction with the quality of their care, according to a report by the Commonwealth Fund.
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Patient ratings on website found to correlate with quality of care

A study by the British National Health Service (NHS) has found a correlation between positive patient ratings of their healthcare experience and higher quality care, according to a study in the Archives of Internal Medicine.
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