ZocDoc: OpenTable for the medical field

I am a big fan of the video work done over the The Verge. They recently released a new series titled “Small Empires” where the founder of Reddit and fellow entrepreneur interviews tech startups in New York city. The series serves two purposes in my mind: 1. Gain insight into what small businesses are doing and how they are helping shape the world (especially with Fitocracy). And 2. Give exposure to these small businesses so that those of us not in-the-know become in-the-know.

The first episode of Small Empires features this neat company called ZodDoc.

In short, ZocDoc acts as the Open Table for the medical field. ZocDoc has compiled a healthy (see what I did there?) database of doctors and specialists of all kinds. You access the site and specify what kind of doctor you’re looking for and what kind of insurance you have. ZocDoc filters down by address or zip code and presents them with a list. This list displays all the doctors and their profiles. Where they went to school, how long they’ve been practicing, what kind of insurance they accept, etc. But the real value add is the reviews. Just like OpenTable you can read reviews about this doctor and rate them with a 5-star rating system. This easy to consume kind of data is awesome. Once you find a doctor to fit your medical needs, you then register an appointment with them through ZocDoc’s website. It provides a list of available times and sends you notifications of when your appointment is scheduled. And the best part, it’s all free for patients! Who needs Angie’s List when you can use ZocDoc to find the best local neighborhood podiatrist?

ZocDoc makes their money by providing a subscription-based scheduling system to the doctors listed. When a patient books their appointment through the website, it goes automatically into that doctors schedule. You can see real-time what’s available and what’s not. No more playing the “How’s Tuesday at 3:22pm in 4 weeks?” game. There’s a reason why that game hasn’t played well with consumers. And ZocDoc is aiming to fix that.

Story time:

I write this post as not just a fan but as a user. I needed a dentist appointment before there was a gap in my insurance from starting a new job. I went immediately to ZocDoc and found a nice enough looking dentist. I ended up at Dr. David McNay’s dental practice. He has 5 stars for a reason. I made sure to leave a glowing review for him. I went in for a cleaning and he found two cavities which he was able to fill that day. He made appropriate jokes the whole time and was very personable.

I convinced my girlfriend to find her new dentist through ZocDoc. She scheduled the appointment and was good to go. Then that dentist’s office called her and said the time she chose was unavailable and offered her a new time which she accepted. Here’s the good part of the story. ZocDoc called her 10 minutes later and asked why she was rescheduled. ZocDoc apologized for the inconvenience and for her troubles sent her a $10 Amazon gift card. Now that’s customer service!

I would highly recommend anyone looking for a doctor to check out ZocDoc.

I was not paid to write this but I’m happy to write fake reviews about your company if you pay me. I’m very reasonably priced 😛

Have you used ZocDoc before? What’s your experience with them? Let me know in the comments below.

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