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Hunters Hill Medical Practice has been operating continuously since 1860, making it the oldest practice in Australia. In that true pioneering spirit, they were also among the earliest adopters of online booking systems when they joined HealthEngine in 2011. And as HealthEngine has grown its products and services, Hunters Hill has embraced more new features with support from their customer success manager, to minimise admin, optimise patient engagement and grow their practice 11.5% year-on-year.

Stats snapshot 

  • ROI – 117 new patients per month via HealthEngine, returning 6.8 times each
  • Bookings – Average of 2,332 patient bookings per month through HealthEngine for 2021
  • Recalls & reminders – 2,170 sent per month*
  • Time savings – Up to 75 hours per month on patient booking admin*
  • Growth – 11.5% year-on-year growth since joining HealthEngine
  • Reviews – 99% would recommend this practice – from 1,451 patient reviews^
  • Love – Ease of use for patients and time savings for our practice

* 2021 average
^ From patient reviews over 12 months (2020/21)

Back in the day, the original Hunter’s Hill doctor lived on top of the hill and conducted his practice by making house visits around the town on his horse. There were very few phones in those days, so to signal to the doctor that he’d received a phone call from a patient, the doctor’s wife would hang a red blanket from the balcony of their home. That meant the doctor could see from wherever he was in town that he needed to return home to pick up the message.

That was then. Now, Hunters Hill Medical Practice is streamlining the whole process using MedicalDirector Clinical and Pracsoft as their practice management software, integrated with HealthEngine’s patient booking system. And they continue to improve practice efficiency and patient engagement with HealthEngine’s growing list of Practice Efficiency Suite features, including Recalls, Reminders, and our COVAX COVID-19 vaccine booking solution.

"The range of services they offer today is why we still choose HealthEngine over their competitors. And from experience, when you’re searching on Google, HealthEngine always ranks highly compared to competitors.”

Dr Charbel BadrManaging Director & GP, Hunters Hill Medical Practice

Why HealthEngine?

Like many practices who joined HealthEngine in the early days, Hunters Hill wanted to give their patients the convenience of booking after hours.

“Especially for parents nursing a sick child at night. They don’t have to wait until the next morning to find out if they’ll get to see a doctor, they can make the booking online at any time,” says the practice’s managing director, Dr Charbel Badr. “Patients who prefer to call us during business hours can still pick up the phone and speak to our receptionists. We had nothing to lose by adding this service.

“And the range of services they offer today is why we still choose HealthEngine. From experience, when you’re searching on Google, HealthEngine always ranks highly compared to competitors.

“Obviously, there’s history and trust there too. We’ve got a really good relationship with the HealthEngine team, especially with our customer success manager, Chris, and that’s worth a lot. I’m constantly throwing challenges at Chris and requesting solutions that HealthEngine’s offerings are not exactly designed for. He’s always got an open mind and often comes back with some solution that’s completely outside the box.”

Practitioner books filled and up to 75 hours of admin saved

With 11.5% year-on-year growth and an increase in patient bookings, Hunters Hill hasn’t needed to grow the team on reception proportionately. They’ve recently gone from two to three receptionists, which they say may have happened one or two years earlier, had it not been for HealthEngine’s practice efficiency tools.

On average each month, Hunters Hill is receiving 1,700+ bookings online and sending more than 2,000 reminders and recalls via HealthEngine’s Practice Efficiency Suite.

“Managed by phone, we could be talking about a three-minute phone call for each booking. That’s up to 75 hours of admin time we’ve saved every month, just for bookings alone. Enough to fill one part-time role! Even if it’s just a one-minute phone call, that’s still 25 hours we’re saving,” says Dr Badr.

With SMS Recalls, they’re able to improve health care for patients and fill their books in less busy times too.

Booking pandemonium in a pandemic

Among the first practices to open a COVID-19 clinic in the early days of the vaccine roll-out, Hunters Hill was receiving a flood of new patient bookings requiring new patient forms to be completed on arrival, which slowed down the whole vaccination process.

At the time Dr Badr, was actively involved in providing feedback that informed the design process of HealthEngine’s COVAX Solution. And while new patient fees were waived for all COVID-19 vaccine bookings and COVAX’s launch made life even easier in many ways, Dr Badr was among the first to bring HealthEngine’s attention to fixing the teething problems with the new system.

Taming the chaos and targeting opportunities for growth

With the COVAX Solution up and running, it instantly streamlined the process by collecting new patient data in an online form before the first appointment. So, patients arrived ready to be checked in and receive their vaccine.

To ensure all eligible existing and new patients have appropriate access to vaccine appointments, Hunters Hill started booking Pfizer vaccine appointments over the phone for existing patients, and any vaccines still available were put up on HealthEngine for new patients to access.

“Our HealthEngine customer success manager has gone above and beyond to iron out any bumps we’ve encountered along the way and maximise opportunities,” said Dr Badr.

“Chris has helped us get our new doctors online to fill their books, set up SMS Recalls and Reminders to bring patients back for appropriate follow-ups and repeat vaccinations, and market our Mole Map skin check service, so we’re getting new patients through there too.”

HealthEngine has also helped Hunters Hill focus their marketing with Featured Listings. They don’t need to target their immediate postcode, because they’re well known there. But being visible to more relevant patients via postcode targeted marketing helps them fill their books.

A booster for further practice growth

Some of Hunters Hill’s new COVID-19 vaccine patients are parents, relatives or friends of existing patients, which the practice is already beginning to convert to returning patients.

“Our set-up here is comprehensive, even if we do say so ourselves! So, when new patients come in and experience our practice, they often come back to use our services. What’s more, by having recalls and reminders sent direct to a patient’s mobile device via HealthEngine, we get high engagement and response rates. It means that with just a few taps their appointment is booked.”

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