This week, Angie’s List, an online rating service by and for consumers, announced it will now allow consumers to rate doctors. Similar in some respects to the WellPoint/Zagat rating service in that it rates such things as cleanliness, bedside manners, etc. the service will cover 55 practice types from dentists, to docs, to insurers hospitals and everything in between. Like a schoolmarm, consumers will be able to rate healthcare services from an excellent A to a failing F.
Already there are some in the medical establishment bemoaning this latest move with statements to the effect of, we are unique, we can’t be simply rated like this, and on and on. These same tired arguments that the medical establishment has been using to thwart just about any initiative that changes the equation from a doctor-patient relationship, which often turns into a parent-child relationship to one of a doctor-consumer relationship, which is much more of a peer to peer relationship.
Get a clue.
Consumers increasingly want a greater say in any number of services that they will procure, including healthcare, and consumers want to share their experiences to assist others. This is something that the AMA and virtually any other organization of its ilk needs to understand. And it is not just the AMA as I find this view pervasive throughout all corners of this industry sector.