Physicians Online: Directory or Referral System?

By Sue Altman

A first tier website initiative for many healthcare organizations is to establish a means to promote their affiliated physicians. Most deploy a ‘search by specialty’ function, but the resulting list is presented in alphabetical order. “Great!” as far as Dr. Anderson is concerned. “Of no value,” says Doctor Zimmerman. The bigger the organization, the less likely it is that Dr. Zimmerman’s notable talents are ever viewed online.

This describes an important difference between Physician Directories and what you should demand from an Online Physician Referral product – the power of equitable rotation! When choosing physician referral software (for call center use), the selection and rotation capabilities are essential. Hospitals want to be able to rotate equitably by physician, solo, or group, and ensure that no participating doctor is underserved. It is important to remember that these concerns are just as valid on the web!

Look for products that provide equitable rotation to better serve your organization’s physicians. It should also track the consumer’s search criteria so you can report consumer preferences by specialty, location, gender, and other attributes.

One example of software that provides these benefits is LVM Systems’ Web3 product, which integrates with its call center software counterpart, E-Centaurus. The number of physicians presented to the consumer is your choice. If the consumer wants more physicians to choose from, they can simply select the “Show Me More” button.

Utilizing physician rotation software is a very practical solution for your online customers. They want a manageable number of physicians to view or contact and they may choose to request an appointment online.

[From the Spring 2004 issue of AnswerStat magazine]