LocalMed vs. ZocDoc
If you're looking for online scheduling for your dental practice, chances are you’ve come across LocalMed and ZocDoc. If you’re wondering what the difference between the two services are, you’ve come to the right place!
The Bottom Line (Which is Somehow at the Top!)
Both services allow patients to get appointments with your practice. LocalMed is a real-time scheduling system built exclusively for the dental field that charges a flat monthly fee. ZocDoc is an appointment request system which periodically scans your system and is generalized for all medical fields. Their fees vary based on where you practice.
LocalMed was founded in 2012 with a simple vision: make scheduling online appointments easy for both patients and providers, beginning with the dental industry. Fast-forward several years later and over 6,500 providers trust LocalMed Connect to accurately book patient appointments directly into their practice management system (PMS), in real time.
New York-based ZocDoc, founded in 2007, is essentially a marketing company that uses an appointment requesting platform.
How They’re the Same
Both platforms have similar features on the patient-facing website. These similarities include:
- Provider search (LocalMed is specifically for dental providers, while ZocDoc encompasses a wide range of specialties)
- Provider profile pages where patients can see information about you and your schedule
- Available times to schedule based on appointment reasons and differentiation between new and returning patients
Big Difference #1
ZocDoc uses a technology called “screen scraping.” To explain this simply, ZocDoc periodically scans your practice’s calendar by taking a screenshot of your appointment blocks. It uses this data to determine what times are available, with which providers, and in which chairs.
This technique can create accuracy issues in 3 ways:
- This method isn’t designed to read system-specific data and can sometimes fail to pick up all of the necessary information in your PMS.
- Since it only scans periodically, patients can book an appointment at a time that’s already been booked by someone else - double-bookings.
- Your staff must continually monitor their notifications from ZocDoc in order to enter the appointments into your PMS.
LocalMed Connect doesn’t use screen-scraping. Instead, it’s completely integrated into each practice's PMS, which enables real-time, accurate appointment times to be displayed for patients. There is no chance for double-booking. This integration also allows LocalMed Connect to instantaneously write appointments back into the PMS as patients schedule them online.
To put it in plain English, LocalMed is the only software on the market that completely automates the online scheduling process. Your front desk doesn’t have to do anything (although they still can call to confirm). Patients can book straight into your schedule, according to rules you set up. It doesn’t rely on a back-and-forward communication with your office, which means it works exactly like booking a flight. They see the time they want, they click it, they get it.
Pricing and Contracts
Previously, all practices were required to pay ZocDoc for a 12-month contract up-front. There was a setup charge, and a monthly charge.
Recently, this pricing model has changed in certain areas of the country. Instead of paying a flat fee, these practices are now required to pay for each patient scheduled by ZocDoc, regardless of whether or not they show up to their appointment time.
LocalMed offers flexible, month-to-month contract terms allowing dentists to cancel at anytime. There is a setup fee and a monthly fee, just like ZocDoc. The key difference is that your rate does not change, no matter how many patients book with you. Even if you earn 100 new patients per month, your rate stays the same.
Dentists searching for a simple way to grow their practice don’t need to look any further—LocalMed Connect online scheduling is trusted by over 6,500 providers throughout the US and Canada! The fully-integrated platform provides the best and only solution for accurate, real-time online scheduling for dental practices.
LocalMed Connect provides today’s dental patients with the convenient, easy-to-use scheduling experience they’re looking for, and gives providers a hands-off method of building their practice.
Ready to learn more about how LocalMed can help grow your practice?