In the July 24 Health & Science article “Is your doctor above average? Hard to know.,” Dhruv Khullar argued that one way to improve measures of physician quality is to solicit more input from doctors themselves about the caliber of their peers. That idea has merit, but it is at least as important that patients themselves also have a say. A recent report examining 462 existing publicly reported quality measures found that few are relevant to consumers. Patients care about condition- and episode-specific information, price information, and how other patients valued and rated their own experience.

Yelp reviews, despite their limitations, allow consumers to hold a mirror to the health-care system. And some health-care systems are responding to the Yelpification of health care by publicly posting patient-generated reviews of doctors and star ratings based on patient satisfaction surveys. Medicare’s Hospital Compare has adapted by incorporating open-ended survey questions to elicit patient comments about their experience.

Expensive calculations to measure a doctor’s value will fall short unless patient voices are part of the equation. Patients are not bystanders to their own health.

David Sandman, New York

The writer is president and chief executive of the New York State Health Foundation.