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SYS-CON MEDIA Authors: Liz McMillan, Esmeralda Swartz, Hovhannes Avoyan, Elizabeth White, Adrian Bridgwater

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Piedmont Healthcare Selects Digital Assent to Deliver Online Doctor Ratings

Piedmont embraces transparency by publishing patient survey results online

ATLANTA, April 24, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Digital Assent, a healthcare technology company that helps doctors and hospitals improve patient satisfaction and grow their online reputation, today announced its participation in Piedmont Healthcare's latest initiative aimed at improving healthcare transparency. 

This week, Piedmont Healthcare became the second hospital system in the country to publish patient satisfaction scores and comments about its 1,000 physicians on its own website at www.piedmont.org.  When patients search for doctors that are part of the Piedmont health system, they will now be presented with a summary rating of each doctor, on a five-star scale, and patient comments describing recent experiences with that doctor. 

"Patients today are expecting more transparency," explained Matt Gove, chief marketing officer for Piedmont Healthcare.  "We work hard to deliver the best quality and service to our patients and we're usually rewarded with patient satisfaction scores that reflect our high commitment to quality and service excellence," Gove added.  "We decided to publish the results of our patient satisfaction surveys – good and bad – to give the public as much knowledge as we can about our physicians.  I expect many other hospital systems will start making their doctor-specific survey data available to the public, especially if they can use software like Digital Assent's to help automate the process."

The first hospital system to publish individual doctor ratings on its own website was University of Utah Health Care.  Utah garnered significant praise from its peers and the media for this accomplishment, and healthcare organizations across the country took notice.  For both Piedmont and University of Utah, the ratings data comes from independently administered HCAHPS patient satisfaction surveys – which adhere to nationally-established standards and are administered by impartial third parties like Press Ganey

Gove selected Atlanta-based healthcare technology company Digital Assent as the physician ratings engine for its website.  "We were honored to be selected by Piedmont to provide the software platform used to deliver this valuable consumer satisfaction data," stated Andrew Ibbotson, Digital Assent's founder and CEO.  "Consumers increasingly expect to use online ratings and reviews to help them select new products and services and, especially with today's higher deductible health plans, this is a rapidly growing trend among healthcare consumers.  Piedmont is ahead of the curve in deciding to leverage its HCAHPS survey data to satisfy this need."

Though Gove has been interested in publishing doctor-specific ratings and comments on the Piedmont.org website for some time, technology barriers prevented this initiative from materializing until meeting the Digital Assent team at a recent Health 2.0 event in Atlanta.

Leveraging Digital Assent's reputation management platform enabled Piedmont to complete this project in just over two months, from kick-off to go-live.  "This is a big accomplishment for our organization and our marketing team," said Gove.  "I commend everyone at Piedmont who was involved in this project for their agility and cooperation in helping us achieve this important milestone in such a short timeframe."

By providing a secure, HIPAA-compliant software platform to automate the process of transforming Piedmont's HCAHPS survey data into doctor-specific ratings and comments, Digital Assent was able to greatly reduce the technological requirements and implementation timeline for Piedmont Healthcare.  "We are optimistic that many other hospitals and healthcare organizations will choose to follow the example set by Piedmont and University of Utah – and choose to share their patient satisfaction data with the public to help patients make more informed decisions about their healthcare provider," concluded Ibbotson. 

About Piedmont Healthcare
For more than a century, Piedmont Healthcare has been a recognized leader in delivering expert care. Last year, Piedmont served nearly two million patients - performing over 44,000 surgeries, delivering 8,000 babies, providing 471,695 outpatient encounters, completing 235 organ transplants and handling nearly 250,000 emergency room visits. For most, that would be a great track record. For us, it's a good start.

About Digital Assent
Digital Assent is a healthcare technology company that helps physicians and hospitals improve patient satisfaction and grow their online reputation.  The company's award-winning PatientPad® technology helps doctors capture real-time feedback from patients at the point of care.  Digital Assent's reputation management platform enables hospitals to automatically publish doctor-specific HCAHPS ratings to their online physician directory.  For more information, please visit www.DigitalAssent.com.

SOURCE Digital Assent

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