Maybe we do need Hospital Compare after all

A few weeks ago, I reviewed a study that showed that maybe we don’t need Hospital Compare any more.  The study found that there was significant overlap between crowdsourced ratings of hospital quality and those on Hospital Compare.  However, will the quality of crowd-sourced reviews decline over time?

This may be the case if reputation management software is increasingly being used by the health care providers being rated.  CBC reports:

Did that doctor pay to hide some bad reviews on RateMDs, the online physician rating system? You wouldn’t know.

Nor would you know if a doctor hired a reputation management service to boost the volume of positive reviews.

Online reputation management is an emerging industry with companies offering a variety of services to professionals who find themselves ranked on rating sites with no ability to opt out and with no control over the anonymous comments that can affect their reputation.

With the increasing use of reputation management tools, independent third party reviews of health care quality may become increasingly valuable to patients in choosing their physician or hospital.

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