The Growth Channel

Date a doc: How Pardee Hospital created an online 'dating' site for patients and physicians

by Emily Zuehlke

We often find our doctors the same way we find our significant others. Twenty years ago, family members might have introduced us to our spouses, as well as our PCPs. Ten years ago, speed dating became popular with busy young adults looking to find romance—or an OB-GYN

Now, one-in-ten Americans uses an online dating site or mobile dating app to find love, and providers such as UNC’s Pardee Hospital are using similar platforms to connect patients to their “best match” physician.

Creating a one-stop shop

As UNC’s Pardee Hospital began rapidly acquiring physician practices, the marketing team faced a branding struggle: the acquisitions were happening too fast to deploy a unified brand, and patients were getting lost trying to find a doctor. Their solution? Pardee Select, a website where patients can search for physicians on a platform similar to many dating websites. 

Pairing by personality

On Pardee Select, patients select between binary sets of fourteen personality characteristics. The site creates a list of doctors with the most compatible matches and queues them up with casual, outdoor profile pictures. 

Clicking on the provider’s name and picture takes patients to the doctor’s profile, where the physician’s specialties, areas of interest, languages, education, and availability to new patients are listed alongside their personalized compatibility score and a two-minute video interview on their approach to care.

Driving volume growth

Pardee Hospital reports that Pardee Select drove 12% volume growth for the hospital’s network of physician practices in 2013—not surprising, given that 23% of online daters say they found their spouses or long-term partners on similar dating sites. 

Learn more

Don’t have a date-a-doc website? Learn about other ways to catch patients’ attention with our "How to Attract Regional Partners and Selective Consumers" on-demand webconference and about best practices to promote your primary care network in Marketing Primary Care. We can also help you tailor your marketing to patient preferences—check out our new study,  Finding New Value in CRM.