Searching for medical information online has become easier in the past few years, but it’s still not perfect. There is conflicting information, even misinformation, and convoluted answers to questions that seem obvious.
Finding the right doctor seems just as difficult sometimes. Prospective patients sift through reviews, but reviews are not always helpful when personalities or priorities clash between a doctor and a prospective patient.
Yext, the search company based on artificial intelligence, continues its efforts to make finding the ideal doctor less challenging. Yext recently introduced a feature called Find-a-Doc, aimed at supporting healthcare organizations. (They should add a questionnaire to help ensure that the doctor and the patient are on the same page.)
The search engine is built on Yext's search platform, Answers, and allows patients to identify the right provider for their needs on a healthcare organization's website using advanced natural-language processing (NLP) to fully understand the patient's query and return listings for doctors that match their criteria.
It also returns headshots, contact information, and helpful prompts like "make an appointment" and "get directions."
Forty-eight percent of patients are not satisfied with the health information they find online today, according to Yext data.
Unlike traditional finder tools for physicians, Yext's search engine does not limit a patient to the criteria they can input. It is flexible, so patients can search for exactly what they need using natural-language processing.
The feature has increased traffic to healthcare sites using the search engine by 100%. Once on the site, more than 75% of people search for a doctor rather than a physical location when they are ready to book an appointment, according to Yext data.
Several healthcare organizations now use Find-a-Doc, including IHA, a Michigan-based multi-specialty medical group that experienced a 400% increase in online appointment conversions just a few months after launching with Yext.
IHA made the switch to Yext's natural-language search from search previously supported by blue links with no opportunities for conversion, often sending visitors down a rabbit hole.
Meghan Brescia, band strategy manager at IHA, said the company was able to identify query trends and prioritized creating some topical FAQs with conversion opportunities."
The insights tracker enables doctors and hospitals to identify trends into what patients search on, track cost savings from patient-support related questions, and see revenue generated from clicks to conversions.
The results from the visitor’s search can feature up to two call to actions on each card that can include Schedule Now, Call Now, Learn More and others depending on the needs.