Note: This is a sampling of healthcare information sources and does not imply comprehensive coverage of available resources. The mention of any product or company does not constitute an endorsement or recommendation by Denniston Data Inc.
By Chau Hoang, Director of Development, Denniston Data Inc.
When it comes to finding a medical provider, conducting your own due diligence is key. Whether it be individuals looking for healthcare providers, or professionals researching doctors, it is crucial to look beyond a provider’s resume and consult as many reliable resources as possible. In today’s world, you have massive amounts of data at your fingertips. You might feel overwhelmed and find it hard to decide what data to trust. Patients are becoming more influential. However, when patient reviews of doctors incline toward non-medical topics such as front office staff, wait time, friendliness of doctors and staff, scheduling, billing, etc., such reviews might give you a false sense of security.
Back in the day, people used paper-back medical encyclopedias to try to find out what the condition might be or what questions to ask the doctors. Today, web-based tools, doctor-finder services, and social media are transforming the way we access healthcare information and approach our doctors.
National Institute of Health and MedlinePlus are good online sites to start for reliable health information and medical news. PubMed offers free resources for medical search along with millions of life sciences and biomedical literature. Everyday Health, Yahoo! Life, WebMD are popular health information portals that provide instant information and resources on a variety of wellness topics.
Popular doctor-finder sites include Doctor.Com, Healthgrades, Md.Com, RateMDs, Vitals, FindaDoc, and Zocdoc to name a few. These sites provide doctor ratings based on a variety of measures including patient reviews, board certification and licenses, specialty and conditions, insurance coverage, distance from you, hospital affiliations, years in practice, etc. However, most of these sites take paid advertisements from doctors.
Access to online doctor consultations is on the rise. Telehealth service providers like Amwell and MDLIVE offer online doctor consultation service via webcam, phone, or chat. Sharecare is a digital health and wellness engagement platform that offers personalized programs and resources to manage health in one place. Doctor On Demand uses video conferencing to treat both urgent and chronic medical conditions with 24/7 access to doctors, therapists, and medical experts, along with electronic records of patient customers. Helpsy Health creates the world’s first AI nurse for whole-health symptom management and navigation to support patients 24/7. Care.coach is known for its unique combination of smart assistant avatar and human support capabilities for aging and geriatric care. Maven Clinic is a digital community and on-demand medical resource for women and families to get higher quality of care anytime anywhere at an affordable cost.
Technological advancement allows patients and doctors to gather, store, access, and share personal health records with anyone anywhere they authorize. Digital record transfer services include WebMD PHR, Microsoft Cloud for Healthcare, Google Health, Practice Fusion, SurveyorHealth to name a few.
Choosing a doctor is an important healthcare decision. Among many typical criteria mentioned above, doctors’ experience in treating a condition or performing a procedure matters the most. The more experienced a doctor is, the more likely a patient is to have better health outcomes. Provider Ranking System (PRS) by Denniston Data uses evidence-based U.S. government data and a transparent approach to rank and compare doctors by experience level for specific medical procedures. Users have access to fact-based, unbiased information and insights to make informed decisions about their healthcare providers, thereby improving health outcomes and lowering health care costs. Explore PRS database.