PITTSBURGH — We’ve all seen the ads for the online dating services featuring people who met through the internet or a mobile app and got married. And according to a Pew Research Center poll, online dating has increased from just a handful of Americans trying it in 2005 to about 50 million American adults today who have tried online dating sites or mobile dating apps.
“At Highmark, we’ve also seen that our members use online tools to look for reviews, ratings and other information on doctors,” said Charles DeShazer, M.D., chief medical officer for Highmark. “But switching to a new doctor and transferring your medical records can be a daunting task – 40 percent of people say it’s a hassle to switch doctors. And, most consumers define ‘quality’ as the relationship they have with their doctor – more so than the actual care they receive.”
And most doctors agree – a survey in Consumer Reporters a few years ago revealed that physicians think a long-term relationship with a doctor is essential to better patient care.
“So we got together with Allegheny Health Network (AHN) and other community providers to come up with a better way for consumers to find a doctor they are comfortable with and actually switch to that doctor,” said Dr. DeShazer.
Enter “Doctor Match,” a new online survey developed by Highmark and AHN that – similar to online dating - measures nearly 20 dimensions of compatibility to help consumers identify the right doctor for their unique health care philosophy and needs.
“We are social beings,” said Dr. DeShazer. “Technology such as the internet and mobile apps can help us to be more social and make it easier to meet people, even doctors.”
Here’s how Doctor Match works: say you are looking for a PCP or OB/GYN that is accepting new patients within 10 miles of your home. Doctor Match will find those from the more than 700 participating physicians, but you can further refine the search by answering compatibility questions such as: Which one describes you most? I like a doctor who smiles and chats during my appointment. Or, The doctor should respect my time and get right to the point.
This leads to results that are more personalized than traditional doctor searches, and the whole process – the first of its kind and intelligently designed – takes less than 10 minutes.
To access Highmark Doctor Match, visit DrMatchQuiz.com.
“Best of all, after taking the quiz and finding your top match, we will help you schedule an appointment, transfer medical records, and get your first visit off to a healthy start,” said Dr. DeShazer.
About Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield
Highmark Inc., doing business as Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield, serves approximately 3.3 million members through the company's health care benefits business and hundreds of thousands of additional members through the BlueCard® program. Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield is the market leader in commercial market share, and has strong Medicare Advantage market share as well. Highmark, through its health plan affiliates and subsidiaries, is the largest and highest-rated Medicare Advantage program in Pennsylvania with a CMS rating of 4.5 Stars. In western Pennsylvania, its unaided brand awareness, brand preference and overall brand rating are significantly higher than its closest competitor. Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield employs nearly 4,000 people in western and northeastern Pennsylvania. Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, an association of independent Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies. For more information, visit www.highmark.com.