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New Website Makes it Easier for Patients to get Backgrounds on Doctors

DoctorSPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WGGB) – The state is working to improve the way information about physicians’ criminal activity is collected and reported online.

State auditor Suzanne Bump made the announcement this week. It comes in response to an audit of the Massachusetts Board of Registration in Medicine, which found lapses in communication and public reporting. The Board and the courts have agreed to exchange information and they also plan to implement an automatic electronic process, which should improve the frequency and timeliness of criminal reports involving physicians.

Reports like this often make us wonder how well we know our physician. A brand new website is working to increase transparency in doctors’ offices across the state.

Where do you go when you need a physician with experience treating a specific condition, like asthma or diabetes, and word of mouth seems to fall short? Most people turn to sites like Google, where you can find a few patient reviews of specific doctors. But are they really reliable and are you even Googling the right doctor? That’s where the Healthcare Compass comes in.

“They can search the website by zip code and by organization name or doctor’s name, and what they’ll find are practices, and they can compare doctors’ offices against each other using patient experience survey feedback. So what patients are saying about their doctor’s care,” said Barbara Lambiaso of Massachusetts Health Quality Partners.

The new website, created by Massachusetts Health Quality Partners, gives users a simple way to look at data from patient satisfaction surveys, as well as independent reports from medical practices in your area.

“There are various different websites that the public can just post their opinions about a doctor, good or bad. I think this website is actually based on standards of care,” said Amy Rice of Valley Medical Group. “It’s got over 40,000 people responding to our survey, saying how they feel about the care that their doctor is providing,” said Lambiaso.

The brains behind the website also said easy access to patient feedback should motivate physicians to work harder and improve the quality of care they offer.

“I think we need more transparency. I think we need to know that everyone is being held to the same standards of care,” said Rice.

You can access all of this information at http://healthcarecompassma.org.


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