NEW YORK: Amid the ongoing spread of COVID-19, Zocdoc is helping alleviate the strain on the healthcare system by building a critical mass of new telehealth appointments. For the first time, the company is enabling its nationwide network of participating providers to offer virtual appointments through its platform. In one week, Zocdoc has already added more than 350,000 Video Visit appointments to its marketplace. Now, patients can find and schedule virtual appointments with providers across 50 specialties — whether for COVID-19 or routine healthcare needs.
An average of three million in-person doctor visits took place every day across America prior to COVID-19. These visits cannot be put on hold during the pandemic, as delaying care leads to worse health outcomes, a higher burden on emergency rooms, and increased community spread. At the same time, as patients shelter at home and are limited from accessing in-person care, existing telehealth services have quickly become strained, reporting hours-long virtual wait times and patient queues lasting up to several days.
There is an urgent need to add new virtual care capacity to support the rising demand. Zocdoc is quickly unlocking this new virtual supply of care by helping its participating providers — across private practices and health systems alike — offer Video Visits through its marketplace for the first time. Zocdoc has also integrated third-party telehealth services to help patients find on-demand or scheduled care in one place. These integrations include PlushCare, as well as partnerships with NewYork-Presbyterian and Houston Methodist, powered by Amwell.
“Surfacing America’s hidden supply of care has always been at Zocdoc’s core, and now we’re helping patients find and book with providers who are keeping their digital doors open,” said Oliver Kharraz, M.D., Zocdoc founder and CEO. “These telehealth capabilities have always been on our roadmap, but we’ve dramatically accelerated these efforts to support patients and providers amid COVID-19. As a neutral marketplace, Zocdoc is uniquely positioned to integrate the nation’s virtual care capacity and make it discoverable and bookable for patients all in one place.”
Patients can find and schedule Video Visits on Zocdoc in the same way they schedule in-person appointments. Video Visits are marked with a purple video icon, and the company has launched a Video Visit filter that shows providers with virtual availability in search results. Patients are already scheduling these virtual appointments via Zocdoc. After one week, more than 20% of Zocdoc’s total bookings are for Video Visits, and roughly 30% of Video Visit bookers are first-time Zocdoc users. Patients have already booked +350 different visit reasons such as anxiety, allergies, dental emergencies, ear infection and stomach pain. Roughly 20% of Video Visit bookings are for COVID-19 related reasons, while 80% are for routine care.
With the surging patient demand for telehealth, this new service is helping doctors maintain continuity of care with their patients and keep their doors open for business as in-person appointments decrease.
“Zocdoc’s Video Visits are an incredibly powerful new service that has enabled me to keep the lights on at my local psychotherapy practice and stay closely connected to nearly all of my existing clients as we’re all battling more stress and uncertainty than ever before,” said Mary Hotze, LMFT, owner of Chicago Lakeshore Psychotherapy.
“Last week we were forced to close our office, and all of the doctors were suddenly at home all day. We scrambled to find a new way to let patients know that we’re still here for them remotely. It’s great to be able to offer Video Visits on Zocdoc so patients can get the care they need even while we’re all under strict orders to self-isolate,” said Dr. Tom Ronay, MD, Medical Director at Circle Medical – a UCSF Health Affiliate.
“Looking beyond the current public health crisis, I believe these new modes of care are here to stay,” Kharraz adds. “Zocdoc is planning to support the sustained adoption among providers and persisting demand from patients, both in the days and years ahead.”
Zocdoc is the tech company at the beginning of a better healthcare experience. Each month, millions of patients use Zocdoc.com or our iOS and Android apps to find in-network neighborhood doctors, instantly book appointments online, see what other real patients have to say, get reminders for upcoming appointments and preventive checkups, fill out their paperwork online, and more.
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Source: PR Newswire