Patients Rate Doctors
When patients rate their doctors, the healthcare community has a powerful insight into patient satisfaction. DoctorRated was created to give patients and the medical community a usable tool to rate and rank physicians and hospitals. Our goal is to educate and inform patients about their choices in healthcare. Prior to DoctorRated, patients and doctors relied on "word of mouth” referrals as there was no website that provided multi-faceted ratings of doctors and hospitals. We feel that this is the most unbiased form of healthcare ratings system.
Patients know their doctor's personal strengths and weaknesses just like doctors know each other's professional strengths and weaknesses. There are many options and opinions about which qualities make the best doctors, and they range from professional characteristics to personal qualities to logistical issues. Our ratings allow doctors and patients to rate the characteristics that we feel you should look for in your doctor.
A doctor's demeanor and personal interaction with patients in clinic or hospital visits can be very different than with other doctors in the doctor's lounge or as it was years ago in medical school. "Personality” encompasses many traits including friendliness, likeability, appearance/hygiene, ability to get along with others, etc. A patient's ability to get along with his/her doctor based on personality characteristics can make or break a patient/doctor relationship. For these reasons, we feel it is vital to have a patients rate their doctor's personality.
Despite recent efforts, all medical schools do not always teach doctors to communicate well with patients. Some doctors are just better than other doctors at translating medical information into a language that patients can understand. This quality is paramount for patients regardless of their intelligence level and education.
This metric is very important to patients as it indicates a doctor's caring and ferments a patient's trust. We realize that all doctor/patient visits will not be of equal time, so this characteristic attempts to obtain an average or median visit time so that we can compare doctors over multiple patient visits.
Although we know that patients cannot always accurately rate a doctor on his/her actual knowledge, DoctorRated is interested in a patient's perception of that doctor's knowledge. Knowledge encompasses a doctor's understanding and mastery of his/her specialty or field of care. More than anything, this quality as rated by the patient identifies a patient's comfort level with the doctor's skill set.
Expertise in a Doctor's Specialty or Subspecialty
Similar to the above quality of knowledge, DoctorRated strives to gain the patient's perspective about a doctor's expertise. Most patients will not have a full understanding of their doctor's (sub)specialty and therefore, we are asking patients to rate their doctors expertise in treating a symptom or diagnosis in that specialty.
We do not expect patients to have insight or experience rating a doctor's education, training, and experience- our doctor/doctor ratings will provide accurate data on these qualities. However, as with the above fields about knowledge and expertise, we feel that it is important for patients to rate their doctor's education, training, and experience so that we can obtain the patient's perception or opinion on these qualities.
Communication between Doctors
An often-underrated characteristic when thinking about what makes a good doctor involves a physician's ability to communicate with primary care providers and referring doctors. Frustration and divergence of treatment plans occur when two doctors do not communicate well. Patients can experience miscommunication between doctors in many forms specifically with office or hospital consultations, procedure or surgery scheduling, and coordination of followup.
Wait times are most often discussed in relation to office visits rather than hospital stays or inpatient procedures/surgeries. A wait time is considered the amount of time from patient arrival until patient departure. Wait times can be considered to be more important by some patients than knowledge or experience. Although we disagree with this concept, we do think that wait times are an important measure to publish.
Office location becomes a very important issue for patients in rural settings and large metropolitan areas. Patients often have a very strong, visceral feeling about office locations in relation to their homes and offices.
Ease of access into and out of a doctor's office is important especially to elderly or handicapped patients. The presence of stairs or elevators, availability of parking, and handicapped access can determine a patient's satisfaction with a doctor's office. Although convenience and access should never be a major determinant of which doctor you choose, it can sway you when two doctors are considered equivalent.
The appearance of a doctor's office can often mirror a doctor's personal characteristics. Unkempt exam rooms, overcrowded waiting rooms, or dirty floors can make patients feel uncomfortable or even force them to choose another doctor. Once again, an office's environment should not be a major determinant of which doctor to choose, but it can help in making the decision.
Office Staff Friendliness
An office staff can make or break a doctor's reputation. A nurse's gentle touch or a receptionist's smile can make patients feel cared for and welcome. Patients have a firsthand knowledge of this characteristic.
Office Staff Responsiveness
A nurse's timely returned phone call or a doctor's personal note to the patient can help the patient feel well taken care of and welcome.
Often a doctor's availability in clinic can prevent Emergency Room visits and can allow reassurance of the patient in anxious times. Patients are equally aware of this availability or lack thereof as other doctors are. Availability over time may change as the doctor becomes more busy or less busy.
The availability of a doctor in the hospital can be vital to allow a quick recovery and thoughtful reassurance for the patient and family. Patients have similar insight to other doctors for the rapidity in which their doctor responds to hospital care.
Doctors are not always available due to nights, weekends, vacations, illnesses, continuing medical education, or a variety of other reasons. Although routine care can be performed by almost any doctor, middle-of-the-night phone calls and life-saving procedures or surgeries make the coverage by a physician partner very important. Choosing a doctor with partners who are considered to be excellent or at least not inferior allows the patient to be protected and well cared for when the preferred doctor is not available.