Collecting and using patients’ evaluations of their providers has been a work in progress for the last thirty years — but the “progress” aspect is suddenly moving into high gear. The original goal of surveying patients was quality assurance — making sure nothing terrible was amiss. Today, the goal is actual quality improvement, and, as a result, the use of patient-generated data has become much more charged, especially when it comes to providing feedback to individual physicians. This could create a gulf between physicians and management. But, done right, it can actually align them. The breakthrough has come in the last two years as the move to full transparency — the continuous posting of patients’ numeric and verbatim evaluations — has helped doctors and administrators come together around their shared purpose: improving outcomes, patient trust, and market share in a competitive environment. Not so long ago, that assessment might
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