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Joy Hicks

Disclosure of Physician Information

By February 21, 2011

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Public access to physician information is one of the most significant additions to health (IT) information technology. Without public access to physician information, patients of the past based their trust on the only information they were privy to. That information was the "Dr." in front of the physician's name. That information let consumers know that a physician was educated and licensed to practice their area of specialty.

So what changed?

When did "Dr." stop being enough?

Did the expansion of health IT prompt the disclosure of physician information or was it the current state of the health care?


There are a number of websites that provide increased access to physician report cards which include education, background information, malpractice cases and disciplinary actions. Many of them give patients the ability to report their own opinion on the quality of care they have received. Consumers are able to review feedback from actual patients that have first-hand knowledge of the quality of care the physician provides.

There are many aspects of care that consumers use when choosing a physician. Of course the education and background of a physician is important, but not the only factor. Consumers want to know that they are trusting the right person with their life and the lives of their family members.

What it all boils down to is that patients want to receive quality care. The disclosure of physician information allow physicians to earn the respect they are given and patients can truly make informed decisions regarding the quality of care they receive.

As physicians strive to improve or maintain excellent patient satisfaction, the quality of care they provide is now publicly documented. If utilized properly, physicians can use the access to their information as a benefit to their practice rather than a detriment.

Photo courtesy of Suat Eman / FreeDigitalPhotos.net


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