Dental appointments on the fly

By Rabia Mughal, DrBicuspid.com contributing editor

September 26, 2007 -- Everyone books last-minute flights, hotel rooms, and even entire vacations online. Now, thanks to a recently launched Web site, ZocDoc.com, patients can book dental and medical appointments on the fly. Patients can search the site's database of dentists and doctors free of charge, and make appointments by grabbing time slots vacated by last-minute cancellations.

"The goal is to make patients aware of open appointments for local doctors in real time ... and book those [appointments] 24/7, even minutes before the appointment," said Cyrus Massoumi, ZocDoc CEO and co-founder, in a press release. Patients avoid long waits, and have a range of dentists to choose from. Dentists can expand their practice by reaching a larger pool of potential patients -- and they don't lose money from cancelled appointments.

ZocDoc makes it easy for users to search for last-minute cancellations.

To list available openings, dentists access a simple Web page. ZocDoc notifies dentists immediately when a patient grabs an open appointment by sending the dentist an e-mail, and displaying a pop-up on their screen. For patients, ZocDoc provides educational background on participating dentists, integrated Google Maps, autonotification of available appointments via e-mail, insurance validation, and patient reviews. Using the site is simple: Patients just enter their ZIP code, desired treatment, and date of appointment, hit the search button, and a list of smiling available dentists appears.

At this stage, ZocDoc is free for users and medical practitioners, but will eventually charge a nominal fee for the latter. Currently, the site only covers dental providers in New York City; so far, the company claims 2% of practicing dentists in the region have signed up. The company plans to expand into other specialties and cities in the next six to 12 months. Expansion will depend on demand. Interested in having your city covered by ZocDoc? Go to the Contact Us"page, click "nominate@zocdoc.com", and enter your city via e-mail.

Copyright © 2007 DrBicuspid.com

 

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