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Find a Doctor Digital Experience: Best Practices Search and Filtering

This is the third post in the Find a Doctor blog series, I hope you’ve found the previous posts insightful in identifying Find a Doctor content to include within your organization’s tool to assist conversion. I look forward to sharing best practices regarding search and filtering capabilities to enhance the Find a Doctor user experience. As 59 percent of U.S. consumers expect their healthcare digital customer experience (DCX) to be similar to retail according to research findings by NTT Data Services, having a user experience that that is intuitive and easy to use are crucial elements to create user satisfaction and reduce frustrations and any pain points.

With a diverse range of users varying from prospective patients, academics, and medical professionals, it is imperative that all are able to use the Find a Doctor tool to find the specific information they are looking for including leveraging adequate search and filter capabilities. Typically search and filter criteria are available from the Find a Doctor landing page in addition to the results page listing once a search is performed.

Offering a simple interface that enables users to enter their search criteria and have the ability to refine results is the best place to start but there are a number of additional best practices that can be adopted to enhance this experience.

  • Automatic Geolocation
    • Create convenience for your users by leveraging their geolocation through the use of cookies into the experience as a default option as well as offering an option to enter an entirely new location.
  • Display a Featured Search List
    • Help users with search by offering quick access to commonly performed searches saving time to enter their search keywords.
  • Offer Predictive Typing for Search
    • Use autosuggest/complete for search using keyword and location so it helps users in performing quick searches and offers guidance to ensure search keywords are likely to draw relevant results.
  • Offer a Flag for Physicians Accepting New Patients
    • Include a filter for physicians who are accepting new patients in order to reduce frustrations and pain points in locating the right physician.
  • Flag Physicians Who Offer Online Appointment Scheduling
    • Users want convenience via their channel of choice so make easy by identifying physicians that have online appointment scheduling.
  • Insurances accepted
    • Offering a filter for key information such as that of by health plan to refine the results list will help ensure users only have a relevant list of physicians to choose from.
  • Gender
    • Gender is another key decision factor in selecting a physician and allowing users the option to filter by this will help create a results list that is relevant for the users needs.
  • Languages Spoken
    • The ability to filter by language spoken to refine the results list will help any users who have English as a second language find a suitable physician.
  • Specialty/Conditions Treated
    • Offering either specialty or conditions treated filter assist users in ensuring they find a physician who is able to treat them for their specific needs.
  • Hospital/Facility Affiliations
    • The various affiliations that are available should be filterable for users to find physicians tied to a particular location.

Within the user experience, it is also helpful to include a results map with the result set showing where matching physicians are located. This will support users in identifying proximity to where they which is another key factor in making their decision.

I hope the above best practices help you in determining where to focus development effort to redesigning your Find a Doctor digital experience. Please lookout for the next blog post in this series that will include insights in helping you to ensure your Find a Doctor tool is easily found on Search Engine Results Page, through marketing efforts, as well as, navigable from your organization’s the flagship website and mobile app.

I would love to hear your feedback on any questions you have regarding best in class Find a Doctor tools and any additional Find a Doctor related information that you like would like to see coming up.

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