Virtual Check-Up: Patients Go Online to Examine Their Next Doctor at ScreenTheDoc.com
07/28/2011

New medical marketing tool showcases physician’s bedside manner online.

Online PR News – 28-July-2011 – – North Carolina-based Bon’s Eye Marketing recently launched a PR tool that some healthcare officials say could change how hospitals and private practices reach prospective patients.

Screen the Doc (www.screenthedoc.com), a new online marketing service, showcases physicians’ bedside manners through personalized Web videos. The Internet-streaming segments, usually running 60 to 90 seconds, highlight the doctor’s passion for medicine, inspirations and patient approach, among other things. The videos – mass distributed through various Internet channels like social networks and the Screen the Doc directory Web site – look to replace the standard, less-personal online doctor’s bio.

“Up until now, the only way to really get a good feel for a doctor is by personally visiting their practice,” said Stephen Bon, president of Bon’s Eye Marketing. “There’s just not much out there – at least on the Internet – that captures the physician in action. Of course, there are plenty of Web sites with docs’ headshots and medical resumes, but today’s patient wants to see who these healthcare professionals are as a people.”

The Screen the Doc video model zones in on how a physician looks, talks and acts when face-to-face with a patient. According to Bon, the segments aim to really familiarize people with the physician’s communication style. But possibly more important to patients, they can audition their future doctor from the comforts of home.

“Hopefully, this will help reduce some of the uncertainty and anxiety many of us feel when faced with a first-time visit to a new practice,” Bon said. “Now you know what to expect when walking through the doors.”

Development of the Screen the Doc concept came after two years of research on physician/ patient relations. Specifically, Bon’s Eye Marketing tracked an increase in the number of people going online to find a doctor. In correlation, the group paired this information with a report (conducted by ABC News) that showed patients view “bedside manner” as a top deciding factor when picking a doctor.

“We put these two pieces together and realized that doctors weren’t providing patients with what they were asking for in terms of online relationship building,” Bon said. “The numbers showed that people were using their computers to learn about physicians. Before making any final decisions, ‘e-patients’ wanted to feel comfortable with a new doctor. They wanted to see how the physician communicates one-on-one with the patient. Instead, seekers were greeted by Web sites with one or two stiff pictures of the doctor and a list of obscure medical licenses. Nothing about this shed light on the physician’s personal qualities, something that patients consider key when picking a practice.”