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On Tuesday, Sept. 29, UW Medicine announced its launch of a new access initiative with Zocdoc, an online healthcare booking system.

Here’s a primer on what Zocdoc is and what this new initiative means for patients and providers.

What is Zocdoc?

Put simply, Zocdoc is a website and app that allows patients to search for healthcare providers by region, insurance and specialty.

“Zocdoc is an additional tool that patients can use to establish care,” says Brian Reed, a service line administrator for the Center for Women & Children. “Think of it as OpenTable but for healthcare.”

The service is free for patients and allows them to see provider star ratings and qualifications as well as photos of physicians and facilities. Within the app or website, potential patients can read verified reviews, see answers to frequently asked questions about providers, check appointment availability and even book appointments.

“Zocdoc helps patients find us easily online and instantly book an appointment. It will help us build and maintain our practices, especially for newer providers, and will improve access and convenience for our patients,” says Debra Gussin, executive director of UW Neighborhood Clinics and associate vice president of primary care and population health.

Zocdoc booking feature
Zocdoc’s booking feature allows patients to see real-time availability of UW Medicine providers.

How will Zocdoc help build provider and patient relationships?

By joining Zocdoc, UW Medicine is making it easier for potential patients to find our providers, choose UW Medicine for their care and schedule an appointment.

This means new patients will be able to easily connect with providers and start building a relationship — even before they’ve set foot in one of our facilities.

The platform also aids communication with patients by sending email and text reminders about upcoming appointments, along with sending wellness reminders, which makes managing healthcare easy for our patients.

“Zocdoc helps UW Medicine meet the patient where they are,” says Cynthia Dold, associate vice president of Clinical Operations. “It is a user-friendly app that allows us to attract and enroll new patients. We are excited about the possibilities of this new access partnership.”

What providers are listed on Zocdoc?

The first phase of the initiative includes 176 UW Medicine providers from Primary Care and OB-GYN.

Check out Zocdoc’s website to see the UW Medicine provider profiles and learn more.