Social media is the next frontier for health care, and ZocDoc is one of the first networks to use it successfully. The company announced today that patients in the Tampa Bay area can now book a doctor on the site, which now reaches 18 cities in the U.S. and 1.2 million patients per month.
On ZocDoc, patients can type in their zip codes, find a doctor nearby who accepts their insurance, and see in real time when the doctor is available so that they can book an appointment online from their computers, iPhone, Android, or BlackBerry devices. This includes things like annual checkups, dental exams, and visits with specialists. ZocDoc users typically see a doctor within 24 to 72 hours of booking the appointment, which is a lot faster than the national average of three weeks.
Unlike a typical health insurance website, ZocDoc includes educational background, career history, and a photo for each doctor. The resumes help patients pick the right specialist, while the pictures help put a face to the name. This can be useful if the patient needs, say, an OBGYN and would prefer a female doctor.
Other features include a star-rating system and a comment box where patients can describe the wait time and professionalism of the medical office and read what other users have said about the experience prior to booking an appointment. (The comments are likely well monitored, because they’re usually tasteful and brief.)
Every month, ZocDoc helps 1.2 million people book one of 7 million available medical appointments. Founded in 2007 in New York City, the company added Seattle and San Diego to the list in January 2012.
Image by Goodluz via Shutterstock.