The Informed Patient Institute (IPI) helps consumers identify the best websites for online information about healthcare costs/quality and patient safety. This recommended website publishes credible reviews of websites that rate and put users in touch with doctors, hospitals, and nursing homes in specific states.
The site's search bar allows users to browse by state or provider type (doctors, hospitals, or nursing homes). Results can be helpfully ranked from highest- to lowest-ranked scores. The homepage also provides access to information about the site's unique rating system. Sometimes the filtering doesn't work, but otherwise the the website is very straightforward.
The website strangely uses only the left-side of the viewport, whereas the entire right half is bare white space. The font is small, pages are crowded, and there are few if any images to liven up the text.
The Informed Patient Institute has a high-quality and transparent review criteria. As with most rating systems, some criteria like quality of content and timeliness are objective. Others are subjective and depend on the reviewer's interpretation. But overall the individual reviews are succinct and contain a nice list of pros/cons.
Most of the doctor and hospital sites available on the Informed Patient Institute have been reviewed within the last two years. Other areas of the website, like the blog and news postings, are not regularly updated. The primary concern is that nursing home ratings have not been checked recently; most reviews are more than four years old, including some more than six years old. Many of the criteria are objective and, although it is important to include the credentials of individuals rating the sites, there is no indication who they are.
Search features allow users to access website reviews by state and type of care
Checklist of pros and cons for each site means users will get the takeaway quickly
Site offers a clear explanation of its ranking criteria and methods
Some states do not have all three provider types available to search
Consumers looking for information about healthcare costs/quality and patient safety on the site will be disappointed
The number of sites reviewed is limited
Sponsors / Affiliations:
The Informed Patient Institute, an independent 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization
News, blog, FAQs, patient tip sheets