Why do we need an algorithm governing the listings on Practo.com?

Patients want the best suited results for their health issues, doctors/establishments want to be visible when a search relevant to their specialisations is done. Let’s solve this with Practo Relevance Algorithm.

When patients search for a doctor on Practo, they expect to see a list of doctors and establishments that’s most relevant their health issues. Throwing up a huge list of healthcare providers can not only confuse a patient, it can also meddle with the listing order of doctors and establishments that cater to specific health issues. The purpose of this algorithm is to showcase the most relevant results for every user in a completely unbiased fashion.

More than 200,000 doctors are listed on Practo; in order to show relevant results, we use the following 6 parameters:

1. Specialization

We list doctors from over 200 specialisations recognised by relevant governing bodies. Our listing showcases doctors possessing approved specialisations only. This validation is done by checking that the concerned doctor has valid qualifications to practice the said specialisation. This ensures that you see the specialists relevant to your query.

This specialisation-qualification mapping is governed by our central repository of medical information called the Blue Book.
(An unapproved specialisation appears with an “exclamation mark” on the doctor profile page and is not considered by our relevance algorithm)

2. Location

For a location based search by a patient,  our system displays doctors within a 5 km radius with higher preference. To give you choice, we display popular doctors in the neighbouring area as well. These locations are physically verified by our on-field team ensuring high accuracy.

3. Reputation

Reputation is a crucial deciding factor when a patient is looking for a doctor for his/her health issue. In order to determine reputation, we consider two factors –

3. a. Profile Views*: We take into account the number of unique users who are searching for a doctor/practice name directly on search engines or Practo.com

3. b. Appointments/Calls*The second factor we use to determine reputation is the number of appointments/calls a doctor or practice has received from listing and profile pages on Practo.com

4. Repeat Patients*

Repeat Rate is a crucial indicator of the trust and quality a doctor offers to his/her patients. For this, we measure the number of repeat appointments a doctor or clinic has received via “Call” or “Instant Book” feature on Practo.com

5. Patient Empathy

A doctor’s code of conduct and level of empathy with his/her patients is of paramount importance and plays a significant role in determining how relevant s/he is to patients on Practo. We determine this on the basis of two scores: Doctor Recommendation Score & Practice Recommendation Score. This is captured from the following patients:

  • Who book appointments through Practo.com instant booking or call feature
  • Who book appointments with establishments subscribed to Practo Ray or Practo Tab

Practo reaches out to these users via SMS/email within 4 days after their appointment and asks them for feedback about their experience. They are free to write feedback anytime after their appointment. Moreover, our fool-proof system restricts a person from giving more than one feedback for a single appointment.

5. a. Doctor Recommendation Score*This score is calculated using two factors: The percentage of users giving positive recommendation to the said doctor and the total number of users giving recommendation to the said doctor

5. b. Practice Recommendation Score*In addition to recommendations captured for an individual doctor, we also consider recommendations for the concerned establishment. This score is calculated using two factors: The percentage of users giving positive recommendation to all doctors in the concerned medical establishment and the total number of users giving recommendation to all doctors in the concerned medical establishment

6. Experience

The functionality of the healthcare ecosystem largely depends on a doctor’s exposure to this field at a practical level. It’s an industry where doctors and healthcare practitioners become more and more skillful on the job. Thus, years of experience add to the merit of a doctor as it’s a direct indicator of his/her growth and expertise in this field.

*For doctors who are new to Practo.com and may not have measures for these factors, we assign a median value till we have enough data captured through Practo.com to assign them a true value for the same

In Summary

Although these parameters determine the listing order for search results, doctor relevance is dynamic and is constantly changing. This is primarily because we cannot control the performance of a doctor/clinic on the aforementioned factors. Thus, there cannot a guaranteed spot for a doctor/clinic as this relevance is subject to change with time.

We are constantly working on our Relevance Algorithm to make it as robust as possible. Any changes to the Practo Relevance Algorithm will appear here to keep you updated at the earliest.

Have more questions? Read our list of FAQs for any queries or clarifications.


Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What can doctors do to improve their relevance on Practo.com?
Below are some of the best practices that can improve relevance:

  • Keep to appointment timings promised on Practo.com: we have seen that adherence to appointment time gets higher postivie recommendations from patients
  • Encourage patients to book online appointments: this will help us gather a doctor’s reputation among patients, helping us boost your reputation score
  • Above all, focus on giving patients a good experience! This will impact several parameters like repeat rate and recommendation score

Q: Who decides the relevance? Is it manually done?
The listing order or relevance is completely automated and has zero manual intervention. The factors that govern this relevance are mentioned above.

Q: Can a doctor pay to have better relevance on Practo.com
Organic listings are completely free. Any verified doctor can be listed on Practo.com free of charge. The relevance or listing order is dependent on several factors as stated above. A doctor can work towards improving his/ her score on these factors to improve his/her relevance.

Q: Does buying any Practo product affect the relevance on Practo.com?
No, it does not. Practo listings are completely organic and free.  Buying any Practo product like Practo Ray, Practo Tab, Qikwell SaaS, Practo Reach, Insta HIMS does not affect a doctor’s relevance in any manner.

Q: Doctors who are subscribers to Practo Reach get certain profile views from this subscription. Are they taken into account for relevance on Practo.com?
The relevance algorithm only takes organic views into accounts. This means that the views from Practo Reach are not counted.

Q: Why is detailed patient feedback not accounted for in the relevance algorithm?
Detailed feedback is obtained from a subset of patients giving recommendations. Therefore, it is already accounted for since we consider recommendations in our relevance algorithm.

 


 For any questions or feedback, please email support [at] practo.com