If you are reading this article on your desktop, laptop or your mobile device you would have already heard about the new patient journey. You would have already experienced patients coming to you from new channels, or might have heard anecdotes about other doctors and how the internet helped bring new patients into their practices.
Earlier, it was mostly word-of-mouth. One of your patients would have told others about you, or seen your signboard sometime when they walked past your clinic. Or the entire family came to you, and with them, their friends and neighbours.
Then it changed. The traditional family became a rarity. Neighbours were transient, and friends were forgotten when they moved to another city. Sons and daughters left home in search of better jobs and glitzier lifestyles, and found themselves in new cities. Being alone in a new city left them clueless about available doctors. Who could they ask? Where would they look? They would ask around, but mostly be met with unsatisfactory replies. How could they search for and find a reliable and trusted doctor?
Then came the Internet Revolution.
Patients started turning to the Internet for their medical worries. Initially, they went online to Google their symptoms and treatments, and some of them even ended up self-diagnosing themselves. When they found out that their ailments were not going away like that, they turned to the Internet again to find a doctor. But hang-ups regarding reliability and trust remained. The New Patient Journey in India was slowly getting established, but patients were still hesitant.
It is this new patient journey that Practo seeks to be a complete part of. We’ve talked to patients, asked them what they would like to see before they can choose a doctor, and have tried to address their concerns though our features.
Through our talks, we’ve found that establishing trust between the doctor and the patient is the crucial factor in deciding the likelihood of a patient choosing a doctor. Our primary aim was to make it easy for doctors to communicate their credentials, and for patients to use that data to make an informed choice. That’s why a a doctor’s profile on practo.com clearly lists out their experience, qualification and all the services they offer. We also found that patients were willing to listen to what other patients said about their doctors, so we put in Recommendations and Patient Reviews.
Trust is important, but today’s generation has gotten accustomed to instant gratification. Convenience also became something they actively sought. How close is the doctor? How much does he charge? When’s the clinic open? That’s also something that we took into consideration. Practo.com lists clinic location and timings, along with the consultation fees. It makes it incredibly simple for a patient to choose a doctor based on their means and accessibility.
This confluence of trust and convenience has clicked. We have 100,000+ doctors listed on practo.com, with 27,000+ Direct online appointments booked in November ’14.
What does this mean for a doctor?
Simply put – patients now have a new way of finding you. And all you need to be found is to get listed on Practo.com. If you’ve already done that, make sure your profile has all the information that your patients look for – the ones we’ve discussed above. If you’ve done all that – great! You’ve made it really easy for new patients to find you!
Looking for tips on how to manage all your new patients? Read about the best practices in patient management.