In your May 18 cover story ("Doc accrediting goes high-tech," p. 41), the reporter refers to "negative perceptions" of the American Medical Association's physician database and cites research from last year's BDO Seidman survey claiming that "of those (hospitals) that don't use it (the AMA's Physician Masterfile), 32% said they do not believe the data are accurate."
This April, the AMA commissioned Deloitte & Touche to conduct a survey of current users of the AMA Physician Profile Service. The primary purpose was to assess customers' satisfaction with data fields deemed important to the credentialing process. The firm mailed the survey to 1,073 current AMA Physician Profile users. A total of 503 surveys were returned (a 47% response rate) and analyzed. Key findings included:
Satisfaction was high for the most important data elements (1.9 on a scale of 1 to 5, with 1 representing very satisfied respondents).
Customers are very satisfied with all key data elements used for credentialing and rated the AMA's performance "as good as" or "better than" other data sources.
Some 98% of respondents said they would continue to use the AMA Physician Profile Service.
Strict quality-control standards and protocols are followed in collection, processing and maintenance of AMA Masterfile data elements used for the physician credentialing process. As a result, the service is formally recognized in the standards of the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations, the National Committee for Quality Assurance and the American Accreditation Healthcare Commission/URAC.
Senior vice president
American Medical Association