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Surgeons at the operating room tableA new web site called SurgeonRatings.org aims to add transparency to how good our surgeons are compared to each other. The site also shows how many other doctors offer referrals to a surgeon. The data are imperfect, but making it available is a good step in the right direction of enabling consumers to make better informed decisions. When you “go under the knife”, you are out cold, so you should have as much data as possible about how safe the surgery will be. Some doctors embrace the new site, others eschew it. The trend to more transparency is clear. We need and are entitled to much more data. How does the cost of a surgical procedure vary? We also need longitudinal data. Fancy word, but it simply means getting data over time. A surgery might be successful with no infection or complication, but six months later serious problems could develop if the surgery was not performed as well as possible. Obviously, there are other factors that could cause subsequent problems, but consumers are still entitled to more data than currently available. Things are moving in the right direction. Read about how consumers can take more responsibility for their health in Health Attitude.

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