Do a doctor need to think on how to optimise the consultation time? Yes. This article summarises the patients’ search behaviour on Google for their disease condition and the need for the right source of information to manage doctors consultation time.

 

In the era of Google patients, everyone scouts for the right information on the internet. They try to understand the condition before they visit the doctor. But what is most important is the source of information and terms of use of such information. Let us put ourselves into the patient’s shoes. In a consultation period of 10 to 15 mins, a doctor cannot educate the patient the way he would understand. In the process, the patient is left alone and depend on Google to seek further information.

Let’s consider Diabetes condition for our easy understanding. We shall get the keyword report from Google’s tool to understand how the general public behaves on the internet to fetch the information. Basically, Google gives us the number of people searching for these keywords in a set Geography. It can be across the Globe, India or within India, a region or the major cities

The below graphs shows the search results within India and the numbers against the major states of India. It also implies there is a large number of patients looking for the right information to suffice them. Maybe they are not getting this information from their treating doctors.

Reading the Graphs

Values are calculated on a scale from 0 to 100, where 100 is the location with the most popular as a fraction of total searches in that location, a value of 50 indicates a location which is half as popular. A value of 0 indicates a location where there was not enough data for this term.

Google has identified related keywords searches and their average trend across the country. This implies that more and more people are researching all possible related keywords to get the right information.

This is live information and if you are seeing the graph, then sufficient data is available. If it is not visible, it says so.

Bengaluru alone witnessed an average 100K searches EVERY MONTH for the keyword “Diabetes”.

As a doctor, what is that you need to understand from this trend?

 

As more and more people use the internet, it is easy for them to scout for information on health for their own benefit. If you do not provide the right information, they will seek information from Google. Google is trying hard to set algorithms to fetch the right information from the ocean of websites and in the process, some website may not provide authenticate information or the right source. In the end, the patients are confused. A confused patient if visits you, can even give negative feedback on google that will hamper the doctors especially those practising privately.

It is advisable for doctors to slowly start creating a genuine and authenticate contents, or license contents at least for their patients so your time is optimally utilised when they come for consultation.

Please share your thoughts below…