VCU Health launches provider ratings and patient reviews program

Patients will have access to verified reviews of their outpatient care providers.

Bird's eye view of the downtown campus of VCU Medical Center
Beginning August 8, patients visiting VCUHealth.org will have access to verified reviews of their outpatient care providers. (File photo)

Starting August 8, patients visiting VCUHealth.org to look up providers of outpatient care will be able to see patient reviews and star ratings of doctors, nurse practitioners and physician assistants on their profile pages. Among health care organizations in Richmond, VCU Health is an early adopter of using verified provider ratings to enable patients to make informed decisions when choosing health care.

VCU News met with Tom Yackel, M.D., president of VCU Health MCV Physicians, to discuss the new ratings and reviews program.

Why did you decide to launch the program?

We want patients to find the right doctor for them, and we know that a great patient-provider relationship starts well ahead of somebody’s first visit. Unfortunately, provider ratings and reviews on the internet are rarely verified. It is almost impossible for patients to tell truthful ratings from made-up ones. Our goal is to give patients confidence in their providers by posting honest reviews by real patients on our site.

Which providers are included?

We are rolling the program out in phases. To have meaningful reviews, we only publish data from outpatient care providers with a minimum of 30 patient reviews and an adequate patient volume. Right now, this includes approximately 500 of our several thousand providers. As more patients turn in surveys after their visits, we expect the number of rated providers to grow over time.

How do you calculate the ratings?

We work with a company called Press Ganey that collects survey feedback from verified patients, meaning real people who actually met with the outpatient provider they are rating. Their feedback, positive or negative, will appear on the provider’s profile page after a short internal review period to ensure accuracy, along with a star rating. The rated provider also gets a copy of the review.