Happy Patients and Unhappy Patients
Every good doctor has happy patients and unhappy patients. There are many physician review websites, and patients use these often. They check out physicians on these website before they see them. They write reviews on these websites.
However, the highest rated doctors may not provide the best care. Doing the right and the best thing for patients does not necessarily make them happy. Doing what makes them happy may mean doing what is wrong and may hurt the patient. Denying unnecessary addicting drugs or denying unnecessary testing may make some patients unhappy. Studies have shown that doctors with the highest satisfaction ratings have higher health care costs, and higher patient death rates.
Physicians who do a larger number of a procedure tend to do a better job. Plenty of evidence proves that. Do online doctor reviews track volume of a procedure? Doctors who do a larger number of procedures have more patient reviews on websites. These doctors have a higher proportion of reviews with glowing praise about quality of care, but not about customer service. They also have a lower proportion of reviews with scathing criticism about quality of care, but not about customer service. This suggests that if you are looking at physician review websites to find the best doctors, look for the doctors with large numbers of reviews. Also look for a high proportion of positive and a low proportion of negative reviews about quality of care. Ignore positive and negative reviews about customer service. The best doctors do have unhappy patients. Doctors who have no unhappy patients are not the best doctors.
Which Patients are Likely to be Happy or Unhappy:
When I look at my patients to see who is likely to be happy and who is likely to be unhappy, here is what I find:
1. Sleepy patients who follow treatment advice and their sleepiness goes away are happy.
2. The occasional insomnia patients who insist on addicting sleeping pills and refuse other treatment recommendations are unhappy.
3. Insomnia patients who follow treatment advice (which rarely includes addicting sleeping pills) and start sleeping better are happy.
4. The few attention deficit patients who insist on addicting schedule 2 amphetamines (like AdderallR) and refuse other treatment options are unhappy.
5. Attention deficit patients who follow treatment recommendations (which rarely include schedule 2 amphetamines as first choice, though they may eventually end up on them) are happy because their attention gets so much better.
6. The rare patients who do not want to pay their deductibles and co-pays and want services for free are unhappy.
7. The vast majority of patients who appreciate that we go out of our way to inform them of potential out-of-pocket costs, pay these costs, and follow treatment advice, are happy.
8. The infrequent patients who do not use the CPAP device, do not follow treatment recommendations, and do not return for office visits, and then want us to certify that they are using the device and benefiting from it, are unhappy. They tend to return when their insurance stops paying for the CPAP and they get a bill from their CPAP supplier.
9. Patients who use their CPAP devices regularly are happy. If they have difficulty using their CPAP device, they follow treatment advice to help them use the CPAP.
Looking at my reviews, I am glad to see the large volume of reviews. Most of the reviews are glowing about quality of care as well as customer service. There are few scathing reviews about quality care and about customer service. I am happy to see that there are some negative reviews, as that proves I do what is best for patients, even if makes them unhappy. I promise to continue to provide the best quality of care. My wonderful staff will continue to provide the best customer service.