ZocDoc Rolls Out In Tampa Bay; Says Gen Y Is Clueless About Health Care

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Cometh The Hour, Cometh The Xobot

ZocDoc, the professional booking platform for doctors, is rolling out to another market as of this week: Tampa, Florida – and incidentally, company CEO Cyrus Massoumi also happens to be a Florida native. But that’s not why Tampa was chosen as the next major metro area to join the lineup of ZocDoc’s regions served – the company says that it chooses new markets based on demand from both patients and doctors alike.

In conjunction with the launch, ZocDoc also released the findings from a new survey it commissioned which highlights why ZocDoc happens to be in such demand: it’s solving the frustrating problem of finding a doctor and booking an appointment – something which the youngest generation of patients is apparently the most ill-equipped to handle, at least according to the findings.

For those unfamiliar with the company, ZocDoc, which has now raised $95 million in funding, is solving a very real world problem of finding a doctor, dentist or health care professional in your area and then setting an appointment with them. It’s typicallly a frustrating process, especially for digitally connected folks annoyed at having to navigate phone menus, then wait on hold, only to find out the doctor isn’t even available for weeks on out. With ZocDoc, patients can instead just go online to book appointments – even same-day appointments – and they can see the real-time availability of doctors in their area, confirm who accepts their insurance, and read the feedback and reviews of doctors from other patients.

For doctors, ZocDoc integrates with their calendaring systems in real-time while also helping them tap into the 10% to 20% of appointments that are cancelled or rescheduled at the last minute.

In a Harris Interactive survey conducted on ZocDoc’s behalf, the company found that the digitally connected group known as Gen Y (in this case, those aged 18-34) generally finds the whole process of dealing with health care frustrating (54%), feels at the mercy of the doctors’ office staff (63%), and are often so put off by the process (over half said), that they actually delay getting their health care needs dealt with. Ouch.

Plus, even though this group is only 23% of the population, they’re the largest group of smartphone and tablet owners. In fact, they’re so comfortable with using technology to do things, that they find pretty much everything else easier to do than book a doctor’s appointment. 79% said they can evaluate a new gadget easier than finding a doc, for example, and 76% said they can find a hotel room easier than finding a doc. Meanwhile, 64% said they have no clue how to pick out a doctor and 79% admitted they picked a doctor based on whether or not they accept their insurance.

Tampa now joins ZocDoc’s ever-growing lineup of U.S. metro areas, which also includes Atlanta, Austin, Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, Dallas-Fort Worth, Detroit, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami-Palm Beach, New York, Philadelphia, Phoenix, San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle, and Washington, D.C. Founded in 2007, today more than 1.2 million people use the service each month to find or book a doctor or dentist. Currently, there are over 7 million appointments available on the site.

I totally just remembered that I have this thing I need looked at. I think it’s some sort of blogger’s cramp? Thanks for hitting my hometown, ZocDoc.