Where do you turn when you need to see a doctor…right away?
Try the Internet. ZocDoc has launched in the Greater Seattle region to offer you instant access to doctor appointments online and via its free mobile applications. The service provides patients with their choice of more than 50,000 available appointments with participating primary care doctors, obstetrician-gynecologists anddermatologists throughout the Seattle area. Feeling better already?
ZocDoc’s mission is simple: to improve access to healthcare. By allowing patients to find a doctor, sort by location and insurance plan, and schedule appointments online at ZocDoc.com, the service eliminates time-consuming phone calls so that patients can book anytime – even when the doctor’s office is closed.
Patients are shown a variety of tools to help choose the best medical provider for their needs, including each doctor’s qualifications, languages spoken, professional statement, and reviews. ZocDoc also offers a free app for iPhone, Android, and BlackBerry, allowing patients to find doctors and make appointments on the go.
ZocDoc has raised more than $95 million in funding to date from the leading names in technology and finance, including Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of Amazon.com.
Cyrus Massoumi, ZocDoc co-founder and CEO, developed the idea for ZocDoc while on a flight from Seattle to New York in 2007. He burst his eardrum during the flight, and upon landing in New York he was unable to find a doctor who could see him for four days. “My painful experience made me realize that while technology has brought us instant access to books, flights, and music, nothing is more important than medical care when you need it. No service existed that could deliver instant access to a doctor,” said Massoumi. “It feels great to simplify the healthcare system for Seattle residents, and bring our service to the very place where the idea for ZocDoc was born.”
ZocDoc’s unique system reveals a hidden supply of doctor availability, including appointments cancelled last-minute by patients, and makes it instantly accessible online. The system thus reduces wait times for patients and increases efficiency for medical providers – a vital service given the country’s current doctor shortage. Forty percent of all appointments scheduled by ZocDoc users occur within one day, and 60 percent of ZocDoc appointments take place within three days.
As of today, primary care physicians, obstetrician-gynecologists, and dermatologists are offering more than 50,000 appointments across Seattle, Bellevue, Tacoma, and the surrounding areas. Additional doctors, specialties, and appointment times will be added in the coming months.
To use the service, patients visit the ZocDoc website (www.zocdoc.com) or use one of the free ZocDoc apps to enter their location, insurance plan, and the type of healthcare provider they would like to see. ZocDoc then shows each doctor’s schedule in real-time, along with credentials and patient reviews, in order to help patients choose the practitioner who best fits their needs. Patients simply select a timeslot and complete a brief checkout process to book an appointment. ZocDoc then sends email and text message reminders to help patients remember to attend their doctor visits.
The Seattle region is the 14th area to receive ZocDoc service, and the city was chosen due to high demand in the area for ZocDoc. [24×7]
*- Study by healthcare search and consulting firm Merritt Hawkins.