Finding a doctor for ourselves or our family members is something that most of us have to do at some point. Since we usually have individual medical needs, it can sometimes be tricky to find a doctor in your area, knowing their specialty, as well as to keep up with every family member's physician, appointments, or medications.
Also, most of us are looking for no less than exceptional doctor with only high grades and ratings. Most of us rely on word of mouth, usually by going online to find out how healthcare providers in our community rate.
In a time of ever-growing access to electronic information, online reviews have become very popular, allowing us to quickly check detailed information and reviews on nearly every aspect of life. Whether we need fine restaurant, rental or perfect spot for our vacation, online review services such as Yelp or TripAdvisor can help.
However, finding a reputable and reliable healthcare provider online can be a bit more complex than looking for a place to eat or stay. There are many physician review websites (PRWs), such as Vitals or RateMD, whose popularity is rising steadily among patients and other third-party reviewers who need to rate their experience with both physicians and hospitals online.
Among the most popular websites for finding a doctor and checking crowd-sourced reviews is also Healthgrades. Just like Yelp or TripAdvisor, Healthgrades makes reputation marketing easier for both the patients and the doctors, both looking for word-of-mouth recommendations.
But comparing Healthgrades to these rating websites wouldn't be fair because Healthgrades website doesn't only allow users find doctors of various specialties in their local area, but also let them manage all their medical information, including doctor's appointments and medications, as well as medical information of each of their family member.
Healthgrades also developed a mobile app that is currently only available for iPhone and iPad that allows users to find doctors and hospitals in their local area, to check crowd-sourced reviews, and leave a review about their own experience on the go, basically as soon as they've left the doctor's office.
Users can also use the Healthgrades app to manage important medical information, including scheduling doctor's appointments and even setting medication reminders.
Upon starting, the app would take you through the quick tour showing its main features, before it opens to the main screen. By default it's the "My Doctors" page that allows you to instantly search for doctors.
To perform the search tap on Find a Doctor that would open a new screen with two fields you need to fill in, with some popular specialties listed below, along with the Ask Friends for Recommendations features that allow you to seek for recommendations via popular social networks, or email, and text message.
You can look for doctors by providing their name/specialty and/or address. The easiest solution would be if you already know the name of the doctor that is supposed to exam you, or perform the procedure on you or your family member, and you want to see their grades.
If you're looking for particular specialty, for example internal medicine type that into the field. To get the relevant result, you’d have to provide address as well.
The app will offer to use your device's GPS to help you identify your location and provide you with the best possible matches. You can, however, enter the location manually in the address field.
You can be as specific as possible by providing the exact address, or you can simply type in the name of the city, and the app will provide you with the names of all internal medicine specialists, along with their grades featured as 5-star system, experience match, distance and the quality of the hospital they work in.
You can tap on Experience Match that will open a brief summary or doctor's entry in the list to see information about the doctor in more detail. This includes doctor's grade, picture, care philosophy, recent comment and button allowing users to directly call the doctor.
As you scroll down, you would see more information about doctor's board certifications, all specialties, insurances they accept, conditions they treat and procedures they perform, education background, languages they speak, and finally their background check, i.e. if there are any malpractice claims, sanctions or board actions taken against the doctor.
Users can swipe the screen to see the map with the exact location of doctor's office, patient satisfaction in more detail and hospital affiliations.
To see the hospital's profile and grade users can simply tap on View Full Hospital Profile, which opens the new screen with hospital's phone number, map and hospital ratings and awards. Users can also search for other hospitals in similar manner they search for doctors in My Hospitals section on the main screen. Both doctors and hospitals can be saved for easier access.
Healthgrades app allows users to set reminders, which can be used for managing appointment schedules or for taking medications, as well as to add insurance card by taking the photo of it, or adding the existing image from their phone.
Healthgrades app isn't only used for managing your own medical information, but also allows you to add as many other profiles as possible, each with their own doctor's info, reminders and insurance cards. This is what makes Healthgrades a perfect app for managing all medical information for every member of your family.
I don't have any objections regarding Healthgrades app, except the fact that it's still not available for Android (although promised in 2016). It works really well in providing useful information to the users with the aim to help them find the best rated doctors in their area, and manage their and their family member's medical profiles.
Benefit: Users looking for crowd-sourced reviews of doctors and hospitals, as well as those looking to easily manage appointment schedules may find this app useful