recommended reading

Why we're still waiting on the 'Yelpification' of health care

Thinkstock

I found my new favorite restaurant shortly after moving to D.C. by reading online reviews from locals who promised it was great for vegetarians. They even called its food "slap yo mama good." Next up on my to-do list for settling down in a new city? Finding a doctor. And I had no idea where to begin. 

"The web has been amazing in terms of collecting information and user experience to put power in the hands of the buyer instead of just the seller," said Mitch Rothschild, the founder and CEO ofVitals.com. The site, which allows patients to anonymously review their doctors, claims to be the largest of its kind and has, according to Rothschild, collected close to a million reviews of health care professionals.

When I spoke with Dr. Marty Makary about his call for increased transparency in the health care industry, he cited spaces like Vitals.com as an important step toward empowering patients with relevant information. Added Rothschild, "We have been kept very ignorant in a way we wouldn't accept in other areas" where we demand to know as much as possible before handing over our money.

While power has indeed shifted into the hands of the consumer when it comes to buying a car or choosing a restaurant, this revolution -- what Rothschild terms "Yelpification" -- hasn't, well, revolutionized health care.

Writing in the New York Times, Ron Lieber attributed the lack of authoritative doctor reviews to patients' unwillingness to do the actual reviewing. The problem, he said, is one of basic supply and demand: "Many people want this information, and more consumers would trust it if the sites had more robust offerings." While Vitals.com is accruing the numbers, it has yet to make the impact that its model, Yelp, has. Other sites, like Healthgrades and RateMDs remain similarly under the radar. And while Yelp itself, along with its paid counterpart, Angie's List, feature reviews of doctors and clinics, questions over just how reliable the information they provide is takes on greater significance when applied to something as important, and personal, as health care.

Read more at The Atlantic

Threatwatch Alert

Thousands of cyber attacks occur each day

See the latest threats

JOIN THE DISCUSSION

Close [ x ] More from Nextgov
 
 

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from Nextgov.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Featured Content from RSA Conference: Dissed by NIST

    Learn more about the latest draft of the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology guidance document on authentication and lifecycle management.

    Download
  • PIV- I And Multifactor Authentication: The Best Defense for Federal Government Contractors

    This white paper explores NIST SP 800-171 and why compliance is critical to federal government contractors, especially those that work with the Department of Defense, as well as how leveraging PIV-I credentialing with multifactor authentication can be used as a defense against cyberattacks

    Download
  • Toward A More Innovative Government

    This research study aims to understand how state and local leaders regard their agency’s innovation efforts and what they are doing to overcome the challenges they face in successfully implementing these efforts.

    Download
  • From Volume to Value: UK’s NHS Digital Provides U.S. Healthcare Agencies A Roadmap For Value-Based Payment Models

    The U.S. healthcare industry is rapidly moving away from traditional fee-for-service models and towards value-based purchasing that reimburses physicians for quality of care in place of frequency of care.

    Download
  • GBC Flash Poll: Is Your Agency Safe?

    Federal leaders weigh in on the state of information security

    Download
  • Data-Centric Security vs. Database-Level Security

    Database-level encryption had its origins in the 1990s and early 2000s in response to very basic risks which largely revolved around the theft of servers, backup tapes and other physical-layer assets. As noted in Verizon’s 2014, Data Breach Investigations Report (DBIR)1, threats today are far more advanced and dangerous.

    Download

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.