Having autonomy over the physician selection process has been shown to enhance patient trust and improve health outcomes
Brooklyn, NY (PRWEB) December 28, 2009
After the patient and doctor are personally matched using a specifically designed algorithm, patients can book an appointment on-line, store and share their medical information, read expert articles and communicate over DocMatcher.com’s secure web interface. DocMatcher.com’s office management features also directly benefit health professionals by allowing them to build, grow and efficiently manage their practices.
About 1.3 million adults in New York City are without a regular health care provider, of which 80% have sufficient health coverage, according to a survey by the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. Access to a regular care provider and insurance helps patients secure preventive care. Those with regular providers receive more advice on nutrition, exercise, and weight control than those without, the survey notes.
These findings underline the significant role played by a good patient-doctor relationship in improving health outcomes and reducing health care costs. This also raises the question of why so many patients are without a regular provider, according to Dr Tara Khan, founder and chief executive officer of DocMatcher.com.
“It has been shown that continuity of care by your doctor heightens your satisfaction, decreases hospitalizations and emergency department visits and leads to the receipt of preventive services, thereby improving health outcomes” said Dr Khan.
Against this background, the Internet is fast becoming the primary source of medical information, especially in researching and choosing a physician. Nearly 150 million people in the US have searched the Internet for health information, a recent Harris Poll revealed.
“People joke that DocMatcher.com sounds like a dating site. Though you can’t find true love using DocMatcher – it follows a similar principle. DocMatcher’s intuitive search engine finds specific information about your potential health professional matches using criteria important to you. We then make it easier for you to meet and communicate to find out if that doctor is right for you. This leads to long, healthy relationships and better care,” said Dr Khan.
For example, adults with both a regular provider and insurance are almost 3 times more likely to have had a colonoscopy compared with adults with neither (58% vs. 21%), according to the survey. Adults aged 65 and older, a population particularly susceptible to complications from influenza, are about 4 times more likely to have obtained a flu shot in the past year if they have medical coverage and a regular provider.
“We’ve made great strides in medicine. Many of our current health epidemics are preventable and/or treatable. Health screening and preventive care is the most powerful way to fight disease. Having a doctor is the best way to make sure you and your family are receiving the prevention and treatment you need,” said Dr Khan.
Moreover, adults without a regular provider are about 4 times more likely to use the emergency department as their usual source of care than those with regular providers; this is true for both insured (13% vs. 3%) and uninsured (32% vs. 8%) adults.
“Why wait in a busy Emergency Department for hours when you could just securely instant message your doctor and ask for advice or book an appointment on-line, even if you are uninsured?” said Dr Khan.
Data suggests that regardless of insurance or use of a regular provider, patients do not always comply with provider advice. About 15% of adults said they did not follow some of their provider’s advice in the past year. This is as common among those with a regular provider as those without.
“This is a consequence of a lack of trust in your doctor. Having autonomy over the physician selection process has been shown to enhance patient trust and improve health outcomes. If you don’t trust your doctor, it’s more difficult to follow their advice. A site like DocMatcher.com lets you pick a doctor based on your own particular needs so he or she is matched to you rather than just picked from the phone book or an insurance company website,” said Dr Khan.
By personalizing the search for a doctor and providing tools for enhanced communication and self-efficacy, DocMatcher.com is helping patients and health professionals build and maintain trusting, long-term healthy relationships.
The Internet now plays a central role in building and maintaining personal and professional relationships. DocMatcher.com’s web platform is using health information technology to create a health care culture shift that can revolutionize the traditional patient-doctor experience.
For additional information contact:
Tel: 718 858 3627
Developed by an Emergency Department doctor and patient advocate, Brooklyn-based DocMatcher.com is using health information technology to empower doctors and patients to work together to build a healthier America and revolutionize the traditional patient-doctor experience.
DocMatcher.com’s intuitive, personalized health care web-platform uses a specially formulated algorithm to help people conveniently find a doctor right for their specific needs and provides the tools needed to stay in control of their health.