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New Report Evaluates and Ranks Doctor Information on State Medical Board Websites

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A 2021 review of state medical board websites found that full information about a physician’s practice history online is incomplete and accessing information is too difficult for the average person to navigate. The review was done by patient safety advocates with the Informed Patient Institute and the Patient Safety Action Network, both national patient-focused nonprofits working on patient safety and quality.

The report, Looking for Doctor Information Online: A Survey and Ranking of State Medical and Osteopathic Board Websites in 2021, evaluated how well 64 state medical and osteopathic boards did in providing online information to the public. Medical boards are state agencies established to protect the public from the unprofessional, improper and incompetent practice of medicine. They also license doctors and other health professionals and investigate complaints from the public.

States were ranked on the amount of information they have on their Physician Profiles individual web pages that provide a variety of information about each licensed doctor. Every state medical board has a website and a Physician Profile.

Sixteen criteria about information on Physician Profiles were used to rank state websites. Most states failed to include even half of the information the public needs to fully assess their doctors.

The report builds on similar work that was conducted in 2016 by Consumer Reports and the Informed Patient Institute: Seeking Doctor Information Online: A Survey and Ranking of State Medical and Osteopathic Board Websites in 2015

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