In an Aug. 4 news release, UPMC announced that, in an effort to share more and better information with consumers and increase transparency, it is the first health provider in Pennsylvania to publicly share patient satisfaction ratings and comments about its physicians and advanced practice providers.
It said that a star rating appears by the provider’s name, with five stars being the top score, and ratings are available only for providers who have received a minimum of 30 patient surveys over 18 months to ensure the scores are reliable. Based on the data collected for outpatient medical practices, the ratings appear on the Find a Doctor section of UPMC’s website.
The provider ratings used at UPMC are based only on survey questions related to a provider’s performance vs. those about other staff in the practice or the office environment. The six questions used in calculating scores cover the provider’s ability to explain things in an understandable way, his or her listening skills and demonstrating respect for the patient, and whether the patient would recommend the provider to family and friends.
Patient comments that include profanity, protected patient information, or irrelevant content are not posted to the site. The release also said that providers will have a chance to review and appeal negative comments, although most of those are expected to be posted to the site as well.
“Our research has shown that transparency is an effective driver of quality, particularly in patient experience,” said Thomas Lee, MD, chief medical officer of Press Ganey Associates, Inc., the company collecting the surveys.
“We believe that patient feedback, good or bad, will only help make us better, just as it has for other forward-thinking health systems that have shared provider ratings in other parts if the country,” said Steven Shapiro, MD, chief medical and scientific officer at UPMC.