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AMA offers patient feedback product

Physician practices can use and analyze online surveys to gauge satisfaction.

By Bob Cook — Posted Nov. 10, 2010

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The American Medical Association has partnered with an outside firm to offer a resource that allows physician practices to get individual patients' feedback -- and analyze the data to help identify ways to help increase patient satisfaction.

The product, RealTime, is being offered in partnership with South Bend, Ind.-based Press Ganey, which has created other patient-satisfaction tools and surveys.

Physicians who use the product would collect patients' e-mail addresses, then ask patients upon check-in whether they would be interested in completing an online survey about their visit. The survey is e-mailed almost immediately after the visit.

RealTime includes personalized "dashboards" that break down survey results and list patients' comments. The information can be compared with deidentified data from other practices. Physicians would receive quarterly reports breaking down the data, including blind comparisons to other practices using the product and analyses of what drives satisfaction rates.

The product costs $65 per physician, per month, for AMA members and $85 per month for nonmembers, plus a $100 set-up fee for all physicians. For a limited time, the service is being offered to AMA members for $55 per physician, per month.

The introduction of RealTime comes as health plans, including Medicare, use, or say they plan to use, patient satisfaction measures as a factor in physician payment. Hospital systems and others are also using patient satisfaction as part of a physician's incentive pay formula.

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