The ubiquitous Zagat guides are known for an assortment of mostly leisure-related topics...Now the editors are asking people...to post reviews of their doctors and rate them...
Huh. I didn't see that coming (maybe I should have), but I don't see why it won't work. The Times article quotes Dr. William Handelman, a kidney specialist in Torrington, CT, as saying, “It is curious that they would go to a company that had no experience in health care to try to find out how good a doctor is.”
But it's the patients writing the reviews, and if the public (be they patients, customers, passengers, subscribers, or patrons) are experts on anything, it's customer service. So once a critical mass of reviews is reached, it'll be useful. And Zagat already has the experience and infrastructure in place for publishing such information, so it seems like a good match to me*.
To begin with, it looks like this information will only be available online, and only to customers of one health care provider. But hopefully, this information will eventually be available to the general public and libraries.
In fact, I think it'd be interesting if Zagat chose to review public libraries. I know most people wouldn't travel to libraries outside of their community, but in some areas, communities are larger than individual towns. And we can all build off of the good ideas and practices of others.
Via Huffington Post
*To truly display how much of a dork I am: The doctor-restaurant crossover has a precedent - the idea appeared in an episode of the Dilbert animated series. The Zagat reviews make much more sense in the context of that episode.