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Physician Transparency: An urgent priority for today’s boards and healthcare systems

To gauge the importance of patient experience transparency in healthcare, consider how consumers approach buying decisions. Most wouldn’t dream of making any large purchase before they consulted online ratings and reviews.

In many cases, the absence of word-of-mouth from their fellow consumers is an immediate mark of suspicion. No reviews means no trust, which ultimately means no transaction. Such is the hold that transparency has on the economy.

Healthcare decisions are no exception. As their share of the healthcare cost burden has reached new all-time highs,1 patients have become savvier at shopping for providers. Above all else, patients want to be certain that they will receive high-quality care and a high-caliber customer experience before they will select a provider. And what they find most compelling are first-hand reports from patients like them.

While quality transparency is equally important, beginning with patient experience transparency is the easiest first step toward embracing full healthcare transparency. This article reviews central considerations for boards, including 1) the benefits of transparency, 2) the obstacles that hold healthcare transparency back, and 3) the characteristics that help ensure the success of a transparency initiative.