Healthgrades improves consumer access and convenience with new online appointment capabilities
Denver, CO (Dec. 19, 2016) – Healthgrades, the leading online resource for information about physicians and hospitals, today released new research that found that in many situations, the majority of consumers would prefer a physician with online scheduling and lesser availability, compared to a physician without online scheduling and greater availability (82% vs. 18%). The Stax research, commissioned by Healthgrades and conducted in November 2016, explores consumers’ perceptions when it comes to making an appointment with a physician, and provides new insights about their expectations around accessing providers quickly and conveniently. The research revealed that:
Combined, key elements of online scheduling (which include availability of appointment scheduling and ability to view physician availability online) are as important as patient satisfaction in the choice of a physician. Consumers would also trade the convenience of having a physician nearby (32%) for the convenience of online scheduling (67%) by more than two-to-one.
Almost one-third of consumers see physicians that offer online appointment scheduling as more appealing, and note that this offering would increase their likelihood of making an appointment.
Consumers who use online scheduling tend to be younger, better educated, and schedule more appointments for themselves and others.
“The research is indicative of an important shift in consumers’ expectations about searching for a physician online – that transparency, accessibility and convenience are paramount,” said Scott Booker, Chief Executive Officer, Healthgrades. “At Healthgrades, hospitals and health systems have an incredible opportunity to connect with consumers where they are searching for information on providers, and to streamline the process to efficiently and effectively book an appointment.”
New Healthgrades features include integration with Google, new online appointment scheduling process, launch of smart reminders to reduce no-shows
Healthgrades also announced a new integration with Google that enables consumers to access real-time scheduling options for physicians directly on the Google search results page.
In addition, Healthgrades unveiled a new process for booking online appointments with physicians at Healthgrades.com, with a more responsive and modern experience that is fully mobile enabled and includes smart reminders, via email and text, to engage the consumer from the moment they book an appointment with a physician to showing up for the visit. Initial results of this functionality show that these new smart reminders reduce no-show rates by 25%, compared to consumers who book appointments using more traditional channels (i.e., over the phone, in person).
“More than one million daily site visitors turn to Healthgrades with an immediate health need and are within a few weeks of booking an appointment with a physician—so having access to provider’s schedules can have an immediate and profound effect on where that consumer makes an appointm