BOSTON – Dec. 15, 2014 – The “Find-a-Doctor” search functions that help patients identify an appropriate doctor are often inaccurate or incomplete, a new report on the nation’s top hospitals and health systems has found. These errors can lead to millions of patients seeking care from providers who are either unable to accept them into their practice or who are lacking in the skills necessary to treat their particular condition.
Physician Finder sites are often the first point of contact for patients seeking access to a hospital or health system. The new report by the healthcare IT company Kyruus, which analyzed the Find-a-Doctor sites at 40 of the top U.S. hospitals and health systems, found that using this digital channel can be a frustrating experience for patients.
The report found that in a search for one of the most basic ailments – “headache” – half of the top U.S. hospitals and health systems either couldn’t identify an appropriate physician or identified one who wasn’t of an appropriate specialty to treat headaches. For another common condition – “rash” – the result was even worse, with 90 percent of hospitals and health systems returning an incorrect physician match or no match at all.
“Patients come to Physician Finders expecting accurate information about physician specialties, locations and insurance plans. Instead, they often leave these sites feeling confused by the lack of information and frustrated by the inability to book an appointment or perform functions that are routine in the airline and many other industries,” said Dr. Graham Gardner, Kyruus’ CEO and co-founder. “Fortunately, increasing attention on the patient experience is prompting many healthcare systems to rethink how they can best serve patients accessing their digital channel.”
Kyruus’ Physician Finder Capability Report highlights the difficulty in effectively matching patients with physicians, a nationwide issue that can lead to poor health outcomes for patients, ineffective use of physician time, and billions of dollars in wasteful spending across the entire U.S. healthcare system. These errors can also impact a health system’s ability to attract and retain patients at a time when these institutions are struggling to coordinate care within defined provider networks. The key findings from the report include:
- More than half of the top U.S. hospitals and health systems (52.5 percent) fail to provide a means for patients to type in their condition or symptoms and find a clinically appropriate physician.
- 90 percent lack the capability to see if a doctor is available on a certain day or time.
- Only 15 percent clearly indicate if doctors are accepting new patients.
- None of the top 40 hospitals or health systems provides patients with the ability to schedule their appointment online.
To view Kyruus’ Physician Finder Capability Report, click here.
To view Kyruus’ Physician Referral Report detailing physicians’ experiences with incorrect patient referrals, click here.
Kyruus’ Physician Finder Capability Report analyzes the online physician search functions of 40 top hospital and health systems in the U.S. The list of top hospitals was compiled from various national ranking sites. Researchers scored each hospital and health system based on 20 common searches that patients would use including physician name, location, specialty, availability, whether accepting new patients and whether the site was searchable by a specific condition (for example, “rash”) or surgical procedure (for example, “knee replacement.”). They also scored each site’s accuracy by comparing the returning specialists against expected results.
Kyruus is an enterprise healthcare provider solutions company that helps health systems optimize their Patient Access, Referral Management and Care Coordination operations. Leveraging the cloud and a proprietary Big Data approach, the company enables the integration of massive amounts of information to create a single source of truth of providers. Kyruus helps health systems create customizable protocols for referral and scheduling across all channels of patient engagement to improve patient access and patient experience. To find out how a Better Match = Better Care™, please visit http://www.kyruus.com.