When a patient compares physician scores online, those scores don’t report on trust — they report on quality. So how can patients choose their health care team if they don’t know who to trust? What happens to that trust if their team is chosen for them?

All patients should be able to choose their doctor, says Nirav Shah, but within health networks, that choice is becoming increasingly rare. To address this issue, Kaiser Permanente Southern California is measuring connectedness between individual patients and psychiatrists. “We want to make sure there is that connectedness — trust, in a different way — because that’s going to be key to the therapeutic relationship. And we reassign patients as a result.”

Connectedness drives outcomes, adds Wendolyn Gozansky. “If you don’t have that, we’re not going to accomplish what the goal is of having that connection to begin with.” ….more