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Patients use speed-dating approach to find a doctor

In searching for a new approach to matching patients with physicians, a Texas hospital has turned to the speed-dating model.

Dubbed Doc Shop, these events help patients choose an obstetrician-gynecologists or pediatrician at the hospital. During the informal meet-and-greets, a group of doctors sit at separate tables while roughly a dozen patients rotate through the room and spend five minutes asking physicians about their practice styles.

Kevin Pho, MD, explained in a blog post today how the approach offers value to patients as well as physicians:

It’s a worthwhile investment for doctors, who can gain 3 to 4 new patients in one hour. That’s not bad.

But it’s also a great opportunity for patients. There are a variety of primary care practice styles - ranging from those who are more terse, yet stay on time, to those who take more time with patients, but tend to run late - and it’s important for patients to find a doctor who’s their ideal match.

Using a speed dating-like setting is a novel way for patients to get a glimpse of their potential doctor’s personality. It’s certainly much easier than scheduling an appointment simply to meet the physician.

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