Product reviews and recommendations are an elemental part of many consumers’ paths to purchase. But for the most part, these opinions are based on subjective impressions and observations. Better information is gleaned from objective sources, such as Consumer Reports, that use measures specifically designed to quantify the value of services and goods. That capability is now entering the healthcare sphere by way of the Physician Compare website.

Created by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services in 2010, the site was originally just a searchable directory of providers operating within the Medicare arena. Since then, it has added more valuable information, such as whether a provider has participated in the Physician Quality Reporting System and the Meaningful Use initiative. Now, Physician Compare is poised to begin publicly posting provider information derived from statistically viable and CMS-approved measurement instruments.

As healthcare transitions into a value-based system, the use of patient-reported outcome measurement tools has greatly accelerated. Patients can now quantify their satisfaction, experience, and assessment of their overall quality of life throughout their care. Collectively, these reports contribute to a physician’s quality performance score, which will be published on the Physician Compare website beginning in 2017.

The rationale behind sharing patient-reported outcome data publicly is to encourage patients to effectively participate in making informed decisions about their own healthcare. According to Dr. Patrick Conway, director of CMS’ Innovation Center, “Offering a strong set of meaningful quality measures on the site will ultimately help consumers make decisions, and it will encourage quality improvement among the clinician community, who shares CMS’s strong commitment to the best possible patient care.”

The healthcare industry is on the cusp of a quality revolution, and delivering patient satisfaction is now more important than ever…

 

Read the entire article in the Integration and Physician’s Issues section of Becker’s Hospital Review.