While the University of Utah Health Care System began publishing data from patient satisfaction surveys 5 years ago, dozens of hospitals and health systems are following suit. One Midwest-based system is listing Yelp-like reviews and a star rating next to each qualifying physician’s name. Research shows that 45% of consumers have looked at online provider reviews, with nearly two-thirds saying their selection or avoidance of a certain provider was based on a review.
Hospitals have long depended on volunteers to help at information desks, delivery of flowers and more. These days, however, some hospitals are asking discharged patients to participate on advisory councils that interact with hospital staff to improve communication with nurses, design of facilities and more. Some council members have joined physicians as they make their rounds, talking with patients or occasionally functioning as a “secret shopper” and to note how such sessions can be improved.