Are patients looking up quality data before a doctor or hospital visit?

Public reporting and transparency are frequent buzzwords in this consumer-directed era of patient care.

Bob Wachter wonders why patients aren’t using the data that’s already out there, as a recent study showed that most patients use word-of-mouth when choosing a doctor.

Is it because of technical limitations of websites, or something “more fundamental,” Dr Wachter asks.

I still think it’s the lack of awareness. A culture shift will be required for patients to turn to the web to look for their doctor’s or hospital’s quality information. I have no doubt it will come, and yes, eventually it will be “the game-changer everyone’s been waiting for.”

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