ZocDoc adds remote check-in for doctors appointments

By: Brian Dolan | Oct 11, 2012        

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ZocDocLast week New York City-based online appointment booking site ZocDoc added its first new product since its launch: Remote check-in. On its company blog ZocDoc heralded the launch of ZocDoc Check-In as “the end of the clipboard”. The company said that making the tedious check-in process easier and remote has been the top request from its user base since launch.

Up until now ZocDoc has focused simply on helping patients find nearby doctors, gain access to their schedules, and book appointments online. Now ZocDoc users will take it one step further and get at least some of their basic medical history information into the doctor’s office system before they arrive on-site and are handed the check-in clipboard.

ZocDoc is offering Check-In as a free feature for its patients — just like the rest of its service — and as of this week the feature will be available to about 10 percent of the company’s users. When making an appointment online, ZocDoc will inform the patient that this particular doctor has enabled Check-In and invite them to enter in medical background information, insurance details, and more. The information is then saved so that the next time the user books an appointment, they don’t have to re-enter it if there have been no changes.

This feature, of course, means ZocDoc will know much, much more about its users.

Other companies have worked to make the check-in process easier or more engaging. Phreesia offers medical practices tablet devices that come pre-loaded with check-in software, payment mechanisms, and sometimes relevant advertisements for patients to review when they check-in once they arrive on-site at the doctor’s office. Another company, Digital Assent, raised $7.5 million last year for its tablet-based check-in offering, PatientPad.

Once Check-In is fully deployed, payment seems like a likely next step for ZocDoc.