British people, in general, don’t like to make complaints in restaurants. There are two reasons why. The first is that most Brits were brought up to believe that it is best to disappear in to the background rather than make a fuss. The second is that when taking out their revenge on another they would do it in a way that meant the other may not ever know about it. Therefore, complaining in a restaurant must mean that the chef is exacting some sort of gruesome revenge out of sight in the kitchen and this is a good reason not to complain. It is with this in mind that I came across the launch of a new website last week called “iWantGreatCare.org“. This new website gives patients the opportunity to provide feedback about the care they have received and in particular about the Doctor that cared for them.
Working in the area of customer experience myself I am a firm believer in the need for and value of feedback. Organisations crave it and when properly gathered and analysed is can provide a level of insight that is often otherwise impossible to get. My wife just received an order from Tesco Direct that had no packing material in the box at all so everything had been thrown around and one item was very badly damaged. Not ideal as it was a birthday present. A quick phone call and an email and the complaint was dealt with and although there was no anonymity the complaint was about an organisation and the person responsible will probably never know who it was that complained.
It seems to me that there are so many ways this new service can be abused that it is hard to know where to start. You have to leave your email address to register and although it is claimed you can leave feedback anonymously it was hard to work out how from my review. Also the site is most effective when it reaches critical mass and I am not sure it will ever reach its tipping point when most Doctors have absolutely no feedback. Who will ever be the first? Is the correlation between treatment and complaint going to be obvious and if so what is the outcome?
Surely Patients will never trust that their identity and their complaint will remain separate, unconnected entries. Won’t they be worried about the likelihood of their next Doctor or carer being forewarned that they are a trouble maker and won’t this impact the level of care? Isn’t that just human nature?
To score your victim Doctor, you are given three sliding bars that represent ‘trust’, ‘listening’ and whether you would ‘recommend them’. However, by far the biggest challenge is identifying the correct Doctor in the first place.
What I particularly like is the tick box at the bottom where you can opt in to receive “occasional news and updates”. Will this be like Twitter for Doctors? It really feels like the convergence of old and new with the application of these very ‘web’ practices in the old fashioned health service. I wonder if one day ‘Amazon-like’ capability will be added and behavioural data used so that you can expect a message that says “Patients who had surgery for a duodenal ulcer also had surgery for psoriasis of the liver”? That’s great to know!