WINSTON-SALEM, N.C., Nov. 24 /PRNewswire/ -- In January, victorious politicians will go to work on America's most pressing issues including the economy and health care, but patients don't have to wait on their elected officials to start improving the quality of care. Instead, they should give feedback directly to their doctors, according to patient satisfaction expert Dr. Steve Feldman.
"We don't know whether politicians listen to their constituents on health care issues in order to affect change, but we do know that doctors listen to feedback from patients and take action to improve the patient experience," says Dr. Feldman. "And, our research shows that satisfied patients are more likely to follow their doctors' orders and take the prescribed medications, resulting in better overall patient outcomes and lower health care costs."
Dr. Feldman created DrScore.com, a Web site where patients can rate their satisfaction with physicians via anonymous, online surveys. Results are then provided to participating physicians on a monthly basis highlighting both negative and positive feedback. According to research findings collected through DrScore.com and published in the journal "Medical Practice Management," patients express the greatest dissatisfaction when long wait times in the lobby are combined with doctors not spending enough time with them.
"The detailed reports allow doctors to 'drill down' into the data to determine ways to improve their patient care," Dr. Feldman explains. "This feedback includes everything from their experience in the lobby to final treatment. Negative feedback is a real gift because it helps doctors do what they ultimately want to do most, which is please their patients and give them great medical care. But positive feedback is important, too, because it validates what doctors are doing right."
By enabling patients to give specific, detailed feedback to their doctors and providing doctors with the data needed to act on that information, the DrScore Web site creates a continual improvement process that results in more satisfied patients who in turn follow their doctors' orders -- which ultimately results in improved health care and reduced costs.
"Good medicine is about much more than just giving the patient the right diagnosis and the right treatment," Dr. Feldman says. "If Americans throughout the country will provide patient feedback -- good and bad -- that is one very immediate way to help improve U.S. health care."
Photos and interviews with Dr. Steve Feldman available upon request.
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