Media Contacts

Melinda Rogers

Communications Specialist,
Email: melinda.rogers@hsc.utah.edu

Apr 22, 2014 2:22 PM

(Salt Lake City) —As other health care systems around the country prepare to follow in the footsteps of University of Utah Health Care—the first hospital system in the country to post online physician reviews and comments—Utah’s only academic medical center is reporting new data about the innovative venture it launched in December 2012.

University of Utah Health Care watched web traffic to its online physician profiles skyrocket after implementing online physician reviews, analytics show. In March 2014, page views to University of Utah Health Care physician profiles totaled 122,072—a dramatic increase from the 32,144 page reviews tallied before the system’s effort to publish online physician reviews and comments had been fully adopted.The surge in web traffic is a strong indicator that patients and consumers appreciate the transparency and additional information that online reviews can bring, said Thomas Miller, M.D., chief medical officer at University of Utah Health Care.

“It’s evident patients and consumers making health care decisions want online access to trusted reviews from other community members. As the first health care system in the country to recognize that need, we’re happy that more than a year into the process we are a leader in developing a system that allows patients to learn more about our physicians through online reviews,” said Miller. ”The ratings give visitors a powerful tool to make informed decisions about our physicians, providers and entire health care system.” 

University of Utah Health Care uses data from more than 40,000 patient surveys to rate its physicians on nine measures using a five-star system —similar to ranking systems used on consumer web sites like Angie’s List, Yelp and Health Grades. Patients are e-mailed an electronic survey within a few days following their medical appointment and are asked to complete questions about the care they received and are also allowed the opportunity to provided specific comments. Feedback is posted to the web site, but is also used to improve all areas of patients’ clinical experiences. More than 50,000 patients responded to the surveys in the first year.

Other health care systems across the country have consulted with University of Utah Health Care about lessons learned while adapting their own respective models of online physician reviews, said Brian Gresh, senior director of interactive marketing and web at University of Utah Health Care.

Gresh noted 99 percent of comments are posted online unedited, and are only removed in the event that a comment might compromise patient privacy information or could be considered legally libelous.The health system’s patient satisfaction survey is currently administered by Press Ganey, an Indiana-based company that provides research and business consulting for more than 50 percent of the hospitals in the United States. 

"There are many systems out there looking at how to do this,” said Gresh. “We’re pleased that we’ve set the bar high and can serve as a model in the U.S. for how to post physician reviews online successfully.”

Elsewhere in the U.S., Piedmont Health Care recently went live with online physician reviews and Wake Forest Baptist Health soon will be experimenting with the idea.

Find more information on University of Utah Health Care’s online physician reviews.