Healthgrades has also introduced an evaluation, based on a telephone survey, of how consumers in 27 cities make decisions about where to get care. In general, the survey found that people spend more effort choosing a refrigerator than they do choosing a doctor or a hospital.
"Individuals always have a choice, yet we found that the way they're making that choice focuses on convenience rather than any objective information on quality," says Archelle Georgiou, MD, Healthgrades' strategic advisor. In fact, she adds, "only 50% of people surveyed were even aware that objective quality information (about their healthcare providers) was even available, and only about one third of those used it to make a decision."
Only a portion of those said that they were happy with the decision they made, she says.
The information throughout the hospital portion of the site, as well as previously published Healthgrades information on physician and dentist practitioners, is free. Healthgrades earns revenue from hospitals and individual providers who buy the right to use Healthgrades' awards and recognition for quality in their marketing and advertising materials and in their news releases.