Patient-centric care is what our healthcare system has moved towards, but when is that too far? What happens when patients start to tell doctors how they want their treatment plan to look? As patients gain more and more access to information, they may become a more informed “customer”; this can be both good and bad. Patients can have a better understanding of what their issue is, but, their informal knowledge does not replace a medical/osteopathic degree.
One of the ways patients are starting to have more control over the system is through patient satisfaction surveys. Patients now have the ability to “rate” the care they received. While the idea behind this patient satisfaction surveys helps the hospitals see potential areas of concern, the survey itself can also cause problems. When administrations spend too much time looking at this type of data, it can create problems that don’t actually exist. Just like looking up a Google review, one must take the information with skepticism. Most people who are happy (or at least satisfied) with their experience do not take the time to fill out the surveys. Rather, the surveys are completed by patients upset about something (whether right or wrong). This type of survey can cause issues for physicians.
While most hospitals and administrations have started to guard against misuse of patient satisfaction surveys, sometimes they don’t mitigate the impact on doctors. If the hospital tells doctors how to treat patients by way of strict review of the patient satisfaction surveys, doctors may feel like they lost their independent judgment. That loss of judgment can result in the overprescribing of opioids or running a test that isn't needed. This could ultimately cause a problem with the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation, and your license. If a problem does arise, Williams & Nickl is here to help you get through that process and back on the right track. Our firm focuses on professional license defense to ensure the Medical Board does not violate your rights, and you have a chance to move on from your issue.