In an age of apps, listings and instant ratings, it’s quite ironic that while we wouldn’t think twice before reaching for a Zomato to decide on the best coffee, we almost always blindly walk into a hospital without showing much concern for its credentials or past records.
With several international players entering the healthcare market in India, customers have access to world class treatment but it often comes at sky high rates, even for basic consultation. Compare this with regular nursing homes and one is plagued with issues regarding hygiene and conduct. Given that most lifestyle decisions today are based on reviews and ratings- from food and travel to even groceries and plumbing- it seems only too natural and essential to have a transparent hospital rating system accessible by anyone looking for quality healthcare in India.
In 2008 I had written a piece for the Hindu Business line on Physician Ratings and followed it up with a piece in the Wipro corporate blogs on Accountable care organizations. I was still evolving the idea when I had written about the need for such a rating system in India in a previous post . I have come across one such site recently.
India Hospital Reviews (IHR) is the brainchild of three IT professionals from Odisha. The site offers consolidated information based on feedback from users on various parameters such as ease of appointment, facilities available, hygiene standards, staff behavior and overall experience. Users could be family members, friends or the patients themselves. Not only can they interact with each other, the hospital too can have access to the reviews and respond to users by way of a dedicated login.
While a few random sites might be available online that claim to offer reviews and ratings, the information is highly scattered. In contrast, IHR offers information on hospitals, treatments, doctors and specialties, systematically categorized into states and cities. Points are allocated with the help of a formula that calculates ratings and recommendations to throw up results in order of high to low scores. Users may also upload supporting documents while reviewing.
But what perhaps makes this site a little more reliable than others is the fact that it does not allow anonymous reviews, does not recommend one hospital over another and does not charge a fee in any manner for the service. It is simply a platform for quality healthcare decision-making that can help elevate the overall standard of medical care in India.
So would you refer to such a site before making a vital healthcare decision?