"The two words ‘information’ and ‘communication’ are often used interchangeably, but they signify quite different things. Information is giving out; communication is getting through." -- Sydney J. Harris

How Does Your Doctor Compare?

New ratings published in Consumer Reports magazine give consumers in Minnesota a window into how their doctors compare. The ratings focus on how well doctors provide evidence-based care for colon cancer screenings, diabetes care, and heart care.

Known as The Doctor Project, the effort was led in Minnesota by MN Community Measurement (MNCM), a national leader in reporting information on the quality of care provided by the doctors, medical practices, and hospitals. MNCM also served as a leader for the other seven regional organizations that participated in the project.

MNCM has worked to make Minnesota a leader in reporting data about the quality of care. Almost all physician offices in the state now report some quality of care data through MNCM.  The special Consumer Reports insert includes ratings in three important areas on 500 primary care clinics in Minnesota, enabling consumers to use the ratings to compare across their own community and the state.

“We have been working in Minnesota for 16 years to provide both consumers and clinicians with objective information about the quality of care provided at local medical practices and hospitals,” said Jim Chase, president at MNCM. “Making this information available is an important step toward improving the care. Consumer Reports has great experience in how to communicate information on quality to their readers. This partnership with them will help us get the information in front of more people and learn better ways to communicate the results to the public.”

“The physician group ratings are part of a broader effort by Consumer Reports to give consumers as much meaningful data as possible so they can make smart decisions,” said Doris Peter, PhD, director of the Consumer Reports Health Ratings Center. “Given the importance of our health care decisions—both in terms of their effect on our health and our pocketbooks— we need to bring more transparency and accountability to health care.”