IRVINE, California--PatientFYI, a free Web site to assist patients in selecting doctors, has debuted with information and service-specific patient referral capabilities on more than 150,000 dentists.
This total includes more than 50,000 with dentists enhanced practice profiles.
"The Internet has dramatically improved the way sellers present their strengths, and buyers make more informed decisions in every industry except health care," said Jason Szczuka, president of PatientFYI.
"PatientFYI is bringing these same improvements to the over 80% of patients that want to use the internet to find the best doctors for their specific needs," Szczuka added.
Beginning March 1, 2009, these capabilities can be accessed directly on PatientFYI.com, and WebMD's 52 million monthly visitors can use this tool to "Find The Best Dentist In Your Area."
"While others are beginning to scratch the surface of using the Internet to provide information, their approaches have been incomprehensive and one-sided. This too often pits doctors and patients against each other," said Szczuka.
"PatientFYI's collaborative approach empowers both patients & doctors to easily engage each other with the actionable information that is most important to each of them," he said.
PatientFYI's information, coupled with its search capabilities, empowers patients to quickly find doctors for them. They can do this by identifying the criteria in which they are most interested, including advanced technologies utilized, doctor capabilities, payment options, and referrals from other patients that received the same service.
"In essence, patients can now learn in under two minutes what would otherwise take over two months of interviewing doctors to learn," said Szczuka.
In addition to the 90% of respondents interested in learning what types of advanced technology a doctor uses, according to a recent survey conducted by Opinion Research Corporation, 83% of respondents stated that they would switch doctors based on the information they find on a Web site.
More than 56% of them said they would be willing to pay more for a doctor they know delivers outstanding services.
"The primitive days of having to make such an important decision based on limited information and the recommendation from one friend or family member, whose needs were probably very different than yours are over, starting today," said Szczuka.
PatientFYI's approach also provides doctors with online presence capabilities. In addition to doctors being able to quickly update their practice profiles, PatientFYI's service-specific referral tool was developed in collaboration with dentists and patients.
This feature, unlike blogs, includes the ability for patients to submit a referral in paper format and allows participating doctors to post constructive responses with referrals they receive.
"With 69% of current patients saying they would submit a patient referral if asked, and nearly 70% of new patients wanting to consider a doctor's response to these comments during their decision-making process, we clearly saw that the generic, one-size-fits-all approach taken by most Web sites today was not meeting the needs of either patients or doctors," said Szczuka.
"We believe consumers will agree that PatientFYI enables them to select the best doctor to serve their needs, and that there are many other categories consumers are researching online that we intend to quickly include," said Kelly McCrann, chairman of PatientFYI.
For more information, go to PatientFYI.
To read more about dentist referrals, go to dentist referrals.
To comment on this topic, go to PennWell Dental Community site.