Zocdoc Chart

First digital doctor survey released from ZocDoc

Oct. 15, 2013
Dental health care providers are embracing online reviews, slowly adopting social media

NEW YORK – ZocDoc published the results of its first annual Digital Doctor Survey. This survey will keep a pulse on how physicians engage with various technologies year after year. The 2013 survey explored the use of online reviews, practice management technology, and social media among a sample of ZocDoc’s network of health-care providers, including primary care doctors, dentists, dermatologists, and more.

Online reviews
Research suggests that online reviews may significantly affect patients’ decisions when choosing their health-care providers, and ZocDoc’s survey results show that the physicians are keenly aware of this. Eighty-five percent of respondents proactively monitor online reviews about themselves, and 36% look at their competitors’ reviews. Additionally, ZocDoc asked physicians to rank the fairness of online reviews on a scale of 1-10:
• 23% said they’re very fair (rating of 8-10)
• 62% said they’re fair (rating of 4-7)
• 15% said they’re not fair (rating of 1-3)

“Patients are eager to access the health care system in the same way they engage with their favorite consumer brands, research hotels, or book restaurants and flights, and it’s important for physicians practicing in this day and age to embrace this shift,” said Dr. Keri Peterson, an internal medicine specialist and a ZocDoc client of three years. “As people continue to depend on these reviews to make informed health care choices, it will become increasingly important for patients and doctors alike to know which systems close the loop and verify all of these reviews to ensure that they are trustworthy.”

Practice management technology
New healthcare guidelines make it increasingly important for physicians to leverage technology to keep their practices connected. ZocDoc found that almost 75% of physicians surveyed have implemented a practice management system. This is significantly higher than the findings of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, which recently reported that roughly half of U.S. physicians have implemented a practice management system.

“ZocDoc clients tend to quickly adapt to the changing health care landscape in this digital world, which likely accounts for the disparity,” said ZocDoc Founder & COO Oliver Kharraz, MD. “These health-care providers are more aware of how they can utilize ZocDoc and other digital resources to improve their practices. Not only can technology improve office efficiency and enhance online reputations, but most importantly, they can improve patients’ access and care.”

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Social media
Social media platforms are another tool that some physicians are choosing to employ to enhance their digital footprint. Some reports suggest that nearly one-third of patients use social media sites for health-related matters, and that number is growing. This represents a sizable opportunity for physicians to not only promote their practices and connect with patients, but also stay in touch with each other and share educational information.

ZocDoc found that 53% of physicians surveyed have a Facebook account for their practice, 34% are using Google+, 28% are using LinkedIn, and 21% are using Twitter. Not surprisingly, overall social media usage is 22% higher among physicians between the ages of 26 and 55 than among physicians between 56 and 75 years of age. Thirty percent of practitioners report that they still do not have any social media presence.