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UPMC 1st in Pa. to Share Ratings that Patients Give to its Doctors, Other Providers

PITTSBURGH, Aug. 4, 2015 – Increasingly, patients are researching online to find doctors and medical information, checking with “Dr. Google” before calling a physician. In an effort to share more and better information with these savvy and engaged consumers, UPMC is the first health care provider in Pennsylvania to publicly share patient satisfaction ratings and comments about its doctors and advanced practice providers.
 
“As part of our commitment to transparency and to sharing information that is critical to the well-being of our patients, we are proud to take this bold step in providing the public with yet another measure of our performance,” said Tami Minnier, chief quality officer at UPMC. Based on data collected for outpatient medical practices, the ratings appear on the “Find a Doctor” section of UPMC.com. “We want to reinforce to our patients that we hear you, and we take your feedback seriously,” said Ms. Minnier, who noted that the system is based on validated and statistically meaningful data not available on other online rating sites.   
 
A star rating appears by a provider’s name, with five stars being the top score. To ensure that the scores are reliable, the ratings are available only for providers who have received a minimum of 30 patient surveys over 18 months. UPMC, like the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, uses star ratings to make the data more user-friendly for consumers. “A true testament to our commitment to care is that the average UPMC provider’s star rating is 4.8 out of 5,” noted Steven Shapiro, M.D., chief medical and scientific officer, who leads UPMC’s more than 3,500 employed physicians. 
 
Outside vendor Press Ganey Associates Inc., a national leader in providing patient satisfaction data, collects the surveys. The provider ratings used at UPMC are based only on survey questions that relate to a provider’s performance vs. those about other staff in the practice or the office environment. The six questions used in computing scores cover the provider’s ability to explain things in an understandable way, his or her listening skills and demonstration of respect for the patient, and whether the patient would recommend the provider to family and friends.
 
“UPMC is one of the national leaders in embracing performance transparency. This initiative requires an enterprise-wide commitment to preparation, rigorous data collection and methodical improvement,” said Thomas H. Lee, M.D., chief medical officer of Press Ganey.  “Our research has shown that transparency is an effective driver of quality, particularly in patient experience.”
 
Patient comments that include profanity, protected patient information or irrelevant content are not posted to the site. Providers will have a chance to review and appeal negative comments, although most of those are expected to be posted, too.
 
“These ratings showcase the hard work and compassion of our providers, who have played a key role in making UPMC one of the most respected health systems in the nation,” said Dr. Shapiro. “We believe that patient feedback, good or bad, will only make us better, just as it has for other forward-thinking health systems that have shared provider ratings in other parts of the country.”

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