ZocDoc, a free service that allows patients to book doctor appointments online, has become a major hit in at least three cities in US.
Started in September of 2007 as a service to help people find and make dentist appointments, today ZocDoc also offers primary care, dermatologist, eye-specialist, ENT, orthopedist, OB/GYN, allergist, podiatrist, cardiologist, pediatrician, radiologist and psychiatrist appointments in three major cities including New York City.
Mr. Cyrus Massoumi thought up the idea after the hassles he had to undergo when he had his eardrum ruptured on a flight. It took him three days to get at the right doctor, and who was also covered by his insurance plan. Though New York city had more doctors per capita than any other urban center in the world, getting an appointment with the right doctor proved a tortuous process for him, CNNMoney reported.
His experience troubled him a lot, and eventually Mr. Massoumi joined hands with Oliver Kharraz MD to float ZocDoc.
"My family has a 300 year old tradition of being doctors and I believe old fashioned values can be combined with modern medicine and technology. I work at ZocDoc because I want to build a service that puts patients first," says Dr.Kharraz.
By being modest in their ambitions, the duo have succeeded. They started by targeting doctors in just one metropolitan area.
When ZocDoc.com went live in September 2007, it only scheduled appointments with dentists in Manhattan. Now the site books visits for tens of thousands of doctors in 14 specialties across New York's five boroughs and in Washington, D.C. and San Francisco.
ZocDoc recently added its first hospital, the New York Eye and Ear Infirmary, which brought 800 new doctors onto the company's roster.
ZocDoc is free for patients and levies a flat fee for doctors, ranging from $100 to $250 per month. In November, approximately 110,000 people used the service to find a doctor.
Apart from scheduling visits, ZocDoc encourages patients to rate and review doctors they've seen, a feature many say is a welcome help.