Finding the right doctor has never been easy. Even if you locate someone in your neighborhood or near work who takes your insurance, there’s no way to try out their bedside manner until you’re in an appointment. Then if you don’t like them and want to try another practice, you have to go through the whole process of transferring your records and start the search all over again.
What a headache! And if you’re looking for a doctor, the last thing you need is another headache. Well don’t give up just yet. Online searchability through platforms like ZocDoc have made it easier than ever to find the perfect medicinal match for your family.
It’s Like Finding an Italian Restaurant
What do you do when you want to find a new Italian restaurant? Simple, right? You search online for one near you, check the reviews and prices, and maybe take a look at their website before giving the place a shot. Nowadays, finding a doctor doesn’t have to be any different.
Sure, finding a good doctor is much more serious than casually sampling the breadsticks, but a strong online presence is a good first indication that your doctor is up to date and patient-centric. Doctors do not always excel at marketing and self promotion, but they should make themselves easy to find as a service to potential patients. PatientPop, a web service that helps doctors with this, suggests you ask the following questions when considering a new doctor:
“Are they easy-to-find online? Are their contact information and business hours accurate, and accessible, on Google, review sites, healthcare and business directories? A doctor should be savvy enough to create a consistent presence across the web so prospective patients can easily access their information.
“Do they have an online reputation or reviews? Are reviews and overall ratings positive or negative? A lone angry, negative review should be taken with a grain of salt; a pattern of negative reviews are a red flag.”
They should know. PatientPop helps doctors grow a streamlined, modernized practice for a better customer experience. They understand what it looks like when a good medical practice attracts and retains patients. If you’re looking for a place to find doctor ratings, try sites like Health Grades or RateMDs.
Medicine and Technology Are Intertwined
Check out the front office when you walk in. Is it slick and up to date, or are they using clunky computers from the Reagan era? A doctor whose front office is modern is more likely to keep up with innovations in medicine as well. A forward-thinking doctor could be your greatest find.
The same is true for their online presence. The folks at PatientPop point out that “while a doctor’s online presence and reputation may seem unrelated to care, think about this: a doctor who stays up to date on marketing strategies is willing to learn and adapt is probably staying up to date on medical techniques. They’re interested in providing a positive experience end-to-end because they know they have to win and keep your business; you’re their customer, and are choosing to use their services.”
A modern front office usually also translates into a more efficient check in experience, easier payment, better organization, and friendlier and less overworked staff members; all which make life easier on the patient end. If they can text and email you reminders about appointments and give you 24 hour access to your records, all the better. These things can and do translate into better health overall.
Spend Time on Their Website
Do you want to spend a whole day trying to call the doctor’s office to make an appointment? Only to find out that space is limited on your day off and you have to check with your family to see if you’re free, call back later and be put on hold? Forget it! Do yourself a favor. Find a doctor who makes it easy to book online. If they do that, they probably have a good website, too, full of helpful information about their services.
“Does their site list services and the insurance providers they take?” PatientPop inquires. “Do they offer easy ways to book an appointment online? You have a busy life, so providers who give you the necessary information up front save you time and frustration. Online booking is key: you want someone who makes it as easy as possible for you to schedule an appointment 24/7. The same thing applies to sending appointment reminders via email and/or text.”
They go on to advise, “Doctors who offer these features know that technology is changing the consumer experience, and have adapted to new expectations of service. They know their practice is a business and they have to provide an amazing experience in order to win your loyalty.”
To Your Good Health
Maybe it’s never been easy, but finding the right doctor has never been easier than now. Using technology to your advantage, you can find a doctor who is using technology to theirs. A double win that means a more painless patient experience for you, and better, more effective health care from them.