I have never been a big fan of New Years Eve celebrations. Somehow the transition from December 31st of one year to January 1st of another always struck me as a poor justification for a party, and I had a hard time understanding the hoopla. As I have gotten older, however, I have come to appreciate the value of New Years as a pivot point – a chance to look back and assess the year coming to a close, and to look ahead to the one about to start. For the last couple of years I have cataloged the accomplishments of our medical group over the year ending and set out goals for the one starting, some of which I want to share.
A couple of accomplishments stand out as important markers of our continued evolution into an integrated, multi-specialty, physician-led organization. One was very “public” and easy to see and understand, and the other was internal and somewhat arcane but no less significant.
The public one was the publication of our physicians’ patient satisfaction data on our website. While the groundwork for this had been in the works as far back as the beginning of 2014, we “went live” with the program in August of 2015. Taking this step sent a powerful message that our medical group was committed to transparency of performance data and accountable for the experience of patients and their families. I believe it was also an important cultural milestone, demonstrating to our non-physician colleagues in the organization that we could – and did – take responsibility for our practice. The secondary benefits were also huge. We got lots of positive press, and our physician web-profiles now have a much higher visibility on search engines, edging out commercial rating sites such as Yelp and Healthgrades.