Last time I booked an appointment with a doctor from home (or dentist, or optometrist), I went through my insurance website and picked an in-network provider almost at random. Sure, I could see their name and location, but I didn't have access to any reviews. There was also no option to quickly find out how soon I could schedule an appointment. Fortunately a lot of that has changed since then, with a few new online tools for more informed options choosing a healthcare practitioner...
ZocDoc is possibly the most popular online service to help patients find topnotch doctors in their area quickly. It's super easy to navigate the site and find exactly what you want — a list of in-network doctors near you with detailed profiles (with pictures), reviews, and even a chart detailing the next available appointment.
The best thing is ZocDoc is free to use and book an appointment for patients — they get revenue from participating physicians who participate in the ZocDoc network.
ZocDoc is ramping up a new Check-In product that will allow patients to fill out their paper work digitally before they arrive for their appointment. Shouldn't we have been doing this five years ago?
Another new service is Better Doctor. Better Doctor is an invite only service to physicians I discovered at SXSW Interactive. They claim to scour reviews and qualifications to select only doctors that meet their standards. However, I found that Better Doctor was lacking in its ability to quickly find an appointment that meets your schedule (and book one online).
Both services also have mobile apps for extra convenience and based on your city, preferences, one may be more to your liking.
Have you used ZocDoc or Better Doctor?
(Images: Top: Denys Prykhodov for Shutterstock; 1-2. ZocDoc, 3. BetterDoctor 4. TechCrunch)