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Highland Medical is a multi-specialty practice with a holistic approach to health. With 12 GPs, 11 consulting rooms, 2 treatment rooms and the recent addition of 2 dermal rooms they offer patients a variety of health services in one convenient location.

And, their services don’t stop there with onsite Chiropractic, Exercise Physiology, Physiotherapy, Dietetics and Psychology, together with onsite Pathology.

But despite their continued growth and sustained success, it definitely hasn’t always been that way, as we found out when we sat down to chat with Practice Manager, Andrea Edwards.

The reception team at Highland Medical happily greet patients

Above: Highland Medical’s friendly and warm reception team, Debbie and George

A tough start

When Highland Medical first opened their doors back on June 9, 2014, it was a very different picture.

“We started with 1 part-time doctor that worked 3 half-days a week and zero patients… it was a real struggle at first.”

“We were reliant on people walking past. We needed to get our name out and have patients be able to find us”

In a bid to attract new patients to the practice, Andrea and the team tried a variety of traditional marketing channels. But unfortunately, for the big outlay in investment, they weren’t seeing a return with patient numbers failing to increase.

“Our marketing costs at the start were huge. We did local area pamphlet and magnet drops, we paid for radio advertising… did a lot and it simply didn’t work.”

It was then that she decided to try a combined effort with her current advertising using an online bookings platform. Having previously used HealthEngine while at another practice, the decision to go with them again was an easy one.

The least costly way to get patients

“Looking back now, HealthEngine was the least costly thing we did in the end. We did a lot of advertising and we got some people in that way but the biggest way we got our patients was through HealthEngine.

If it wasn’t for HealthEngine getting the new patients we would have continued to struggle.”

 The majority of patients don’t come with a cost

“What many people don’t realise is that when you’re with HealthEngine, any new patients that come through your website are free. If they choose to come through the HealthEngine Network why shouldn’t you pay a small amount? And it’s such a small amount.”

A staff member using their HealthEngine software

Above: Highland Medical staff member, Kay, using HealthEngine’s Practice Admin software

And, the family effect is something else Andrea believes is worth considering.

“We’ve had 1 person book online for the very first time and then they might bring their whole family in and not book through HealthEngine so what you pay for one patient could end up being 5 patients. So that small outlay in the beginning to me isn’t an issue”.

New patients become life-long patients

When it comes to the new patients HealthEngine provides, Andrea explained the life-time value these patients offer once they become loyal, existing patients.

“Some new patients don’t return but a lot do. You retain about 80% of them. It’s all about getting them through the door! If you have to pay a small fee to get them that’s fine. At the end of the day, if your reputation is good enough and the experience you provide, they will keep coming back.”

It’s one of the main reasons why Highland Medical invests so much in creating a friendly and relaxed atmosphere for patients.

“It’s all about the experience you offer. We make the effort to greet every patient that comes in and make their wait as short as possible. We’ve got I-pads in the waiting room for patient use and Free WIFI. We’ve also got a TV showing today’s events and a Tonic TV showing health tips, patient journeys through health events and topical health stories.”

Ipads and TV for patients within the Highland Medical waiting room

Above: Communal Ipads, free WIFI and TV in the waiting room

“With HealthEngine we managed to build up a massive base of new patients that have now become existing patients who continually book with us  – and we don’t get charged for them.”

Everything else comes for free

Another aspect of HealthEngine that Andrea is loving is the zero-dollar product plans. Besides the small fee per new patient, the practice is getting everything else they need for no cost.

“Some other platforms don’t charge for new patients, but they charge a fee per-practitioner so we prefer paying for the new patients and getting everything else for free”.

Excited for the future

Coming up on 6 years onboard with HealthEngine, Andrea and the team are as excited as ever about what the future has in store with their patient base continuing to grow along with the services they are offering.

“We’ve come a long way in a short time, from zero patients to over 14,000 patients that have come through our doors. And if you look at how many people actually book through HealthEngine it’s absolutely massive for us.”

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