Finding the right doctor is important to most people. It becomes especially critical if diagnosed with a serious medical condition or when facing some type of invasive treatment. Although no one is guaranteed good results, it may at least reduce the likelihood of receiving substandard care or being treated by a doctor who has a record of making significant mistakes. Looking over doctor reviews and medical ratings and any history of disciplinary action can help patients make a choice.
Choosing a Doctor Based on Ratings and Reviews
Healthgrades.com is one option for obtaining ratings on a specific doctor. Potential patients can find a doctor’s rating by inputting his/her name or specialty. Healthgrades provides a one- to five-star rating based on patients’ reviews of the doctor.
Ratings are further broken down into the following categories:
- level of trust in doctor’s decisions;
- how well medical conditions are explained;
- how well doctor listens and answers questions; and
- amount of time spent with patients.
Healthgrades may even include data pertaining to sanctions against a doctor or any board actions taken against the physician. Additionally, patients can receive information pertaining to the quality of a hospital at which a doctor is employed. This can be just as important when choosing a provider.
Another place to find information on doctors is through Consumer Reports. For instance, they offer surgery ratings for over 2,000 hospitals. This in itself could help determine if a provider at a particular hospital would be a good fit for an upcoming procedure.
A Google search for doctor reviews can bring up a number of sites. However, keep in mind that not every resource is necessarily reliable or accurate. It’s sometimes better to go with a site where a reviewer has actually received care from the doctor.
Choosing a Doctor Based on Disciplinary Actions
Disciplinary actions against a doctor don’t always mean someone is more likely to be the victim of malpractice. But it can help inform a patient’s decision to review any history of sanctions or disciplinary action.
Checkbook.org is one resource, which provides links to sites based on the state in which a doctor practices. In New York, patients can find disciplinary actions taken against physician and physician assistants through the Department of Health. Consumers can do a search by physician, license number/type and effective date.
Depending on the circumstances, sometimes a doctor’s statement of charges are made public. Some could be allegations, however. The information may include decisions by the hearing committee, including the type of misconduct and resulting penalty. It also may show when a physician has appealed the decision, along with the final outcome.
Doctor reviews, ratings and disciplinary actions can be a deciding factor when choosing a medical practitioner. Taking the time to find this information could ensure a patient receives quality care and even could reduce the likelihood of becoming the victim of medical malpractice.
In cases in which the patient suspects medical malpractice is to blame for an injury or illness, he or she should consult an attorney for legal assistance. Call (800) 246-4878 to set up a consultation at Gacovino, Lake & Associates.