Having your office’s information correct online is vital to ensure potential patients are able to find and contact you to ultimately schedule an appointment. Our relationship with Review Concierge, a review management service, has helped us to identify where our physicians are listed and whether the information is correct or not.
Many sites such as Vitals or RateMDs allow you to claim the listing in order to maintain control over your information at no charge. Some don’t allow you to claim them, but they do allow you to ‘suggest an edit’ that is usually live within a couple of days, also for free. Other sites like UCompareHealthcare don’t offer those features and would rather you email their customer service for individual changes and they are made from there (most of the time).
We recently came across a physician’s listing that was incorrect on one of the larger reputation management sites, ZocDoc.com.
What is ZocDoc?
ZocDoc was founded in 2007 and works to simplify the doctor-patient relationship by providing physician reviews and simple appointment requests. The website pulls over five million users each month.
The Problem With ZocDoc
In this particular case, the address for one of our practices was incorrect. After identifying the error, we contacted ZocDoc’s customer service to request the address be changed. We were informed that ZocDoc pulls information automatically from the internet and that they were unable to correct it… unless we were to join their service. Wait…what? Now, we are sure they provide excellent service, however it seems absurd that ZocDoc would rather have incorrect information on their website than correct it, which would ultimately be providing even better service for ZocDoc’s existing users.
This is similar to some issues we’ve run into with Yelp. Yelp has primarily been known as a site to rate your favorite restaurants or nail salons, however recently there has been significant growth in physician and private practice reviews on the website. In fact, Yelp has become the number one site to review physicians according to a recent study from Software Advice. To claim your physician on Yelp it requires a phone call to the office and entering a simple code. However, the issue comes when you have multiple physicians or locations. Generally, Yelp will allow you to claim about 15 listings under one account before they offer a sales pitch to claim more, but we found a way around that. If you have multiple locations and multiple physicians, it’s easier to just create another account with Yelp to prevent being limited to owning your information.
Currently the fee for ZocDoc’s service is a one-year contract charging $250 to $300 each month with the promise of bringing you an additional 100 new patient each week, but when all you want is your address to be correct, holding the information hostage seems a bit outrageous don’t you think?
Since we were told that ZocDoc pulls their information from the internet, we asked where the information comes from so we could ensure that it was corrected at the source.
Side note: This is nothing new, several reputations websites pull from big sites like Google or Yellowpages and if they are incorrect there, they can be incorrect on several websites.
Unfortunately the response we got was that they “are not able to distinguish which sources the information came from.” Wait…what? So basically they are sharing information that may or may not be correct and they have no idea where it comes from.
One of the best ways to help ensure your information is correct throughout the internet is to have it correct on the NPI Database. This is generally one of the main sources that review sites pull their information from. Doing this is no big deal for a single physician to do, however if you are managing multiple physicians it can be a nightmare to collect personal information, like social security numbers, necessary to update the NPI Database.
In an effort to “not confuse any of your patients” we were offered for the page to be deleted or for us to join their service. Since we just wanted our address correct, we elected to have the listing removed.
Although they were unable to correct our issue, we would like to mention that the customer service was extremely friendly and polite. Credit where credit is due, after all.