As the owner of two well-established, Victorian-based general practices, George has seen a lot of change in the industry over the years.
We sat down with him to discuss how his practices needed to evolve with the times and how HealthEngine has helped them not just survive but thrive in the modern patient environment.
Two well-established practices
“Both of my practices are established practices with senior doctors. Broadway Medical Clinic in Reservoir has been around for 40 years, and close to 30 years for Ultimate Health Care, Maribyrnong.”
But, as George explained, building a large, loyal patient base doesn’t guarantee sustained success.
Ageing practice, ageing patients
The problem was, as the practices grew older, so did their loyal patient base.
“As you get older, you have a following but your patients also age and in the end they start dying off… suddenly you find yourself looking for patients, which is exactly what happened in both of our practices.”
“We got to the point that we had to do something to bring patients number back up.”
Like most would, George was about to turn to expensive marketing like newspaper ads in a bid to attract new patients.
“Using my old-fashioned brain, I thought we should start advertising in local papers like we had before.”
But it was some advice from his Daughter who made him reconsider.
“My daughter said that you were crazy to not have online appointments.”
But George had his hesitations.
“My hesitation with online bookings was we would get really poor quality patients.”
Started with one practice
Despite his hesitation to online bookings, George decided to test HealthEngine on one of his practices to see what return he would get. Coming on board in November 2018, it didn’t take long for George to start noticing the difference.
“Within 1 month we saw such a positive return that we simply had to get HealthEngine for our Maribyrnong practice too.”
Surprised by the quality, shocked by the results
Apart from just getting new patients, George explained how HealthEngine allowed him to completely rebuild his practices.
“The results we’ve got in not even 12-months with HealthEngine simply aren’t achievable in any other way”
“No amount of advertising, no amount of word-of-mouth would have achieved the results we’ve had.”
And, despite George’s hesitations around the quality of patient HealthEngine would deliver, he is happy to say he was 100% wrong.
“The quality of the patients we’ve had through HealthEngine has been really really good. I was absolutely surprised at the quality.”
No website, no worries!
What may come as a surprise is that despite offering online bookings, George still doesn’t have a website for either of his practices.
“We’re old fashioned. We don’t have a website and with HealthEngine you don’t need one, it’s better than a website”
“Today, everybody looks on HealthEngine so you don’t need a website… all of our practice information is on our HealthEngine profile anyway.”
“The majority of new patients are from the area yet didn’t know we were there until we came onto HealthEngine.”
Above: Broadway Medical Clinic’s profile on HealthEngine
And, it’s the ability to reach the “iPhone generation” that George finds so helpful.
“One of the first patients we had through HealthEngine lived literally 200 metres from the practice. I thought to myself, what makes a person not want to come in to make an appointment, why would they rather book online? I asked my daughter if she’d book online or just drop in if she lived that close and she said ‘I’d do it online’.”
Spending less but getting more
On top of the great return on investment George was getting, he also managed to save a lot of money by reducing his outlay on practice promotion.
“We were planning on doing heap of advertising but we didn’t have to. It would have cost a fortune and it wouldn’t have achieved anywhere near the results.”
George also managed to save money despite switching from mixed-billing to bulk-billing practices.
“When you talk about cost with HealthEngine, you simply can’t compare”
“We used to be mixed billing but now we’re bulk billing and it’s even worth it at the bulk-billing rate.“
An easy to use system
Despite HealthEngine not being integrated with the PMS in either of his clinics, George and his staff still find the HealthEngine software incredibly easy to use.
Above: The front desk team at Ultimate Health Care
“The whole system is easy to use and very user-friendly. We’re not integrated and it’s very simple to use. The reporting is great. The ability to put in DNAs and not get charged is fantastic… I’m rapt!”
Patients love it
The happiness of his patients is something George holds very dearly so he’s always excited to hear positive feedback about HealthEngine from his patients.
“Our patients love HealthEngine, they continually tell us how impressed they are with it”
If George has any regrets, it’s that he didn’t listen to his daughter earlier.
“I feel like a bit of an idiot for not doing it earlier. As an older practitioner, you just become set in your ways and when you’ve been in medicine as long as I have and you have a solid practice, you think ‘who needs that, who needs that’… you become complacent”
“I should have got onto it a lot earlier, it was the best thing we did. And it was all thanks to my daughter.”
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