72-Hours to Build a Booking Product for Australia’s Respiratory Clinics

HotDoc Partners with Department of Health

On Wednesday night—March 18—HotDoc received a call from Australia’s Department of Health. Tom Spacek, HotDoc’s CTO, took the call. Caught off guard by COVID-19, the government was stuck between a rock and a hard place. They needed a solution to help people book in at their pop-up respiratory clinics. And they needed it now. Could we help? 


Spacek describes, “The Department needed a standalone booking system that could triage patients, take appointments online, offer nation-wide search functionality, and was able to present an appointment schedule for use in a sterile environment on an iPad.” 

"The Department of Health needed a booking system for COVID respiratory clinics. It had to be flexible, scalable. They needed it by Saturday morning—48 hours away."


Pictured: Tom Spacek HotDoc CTO at HotDoc’s Melbourne office

Tom Spacek says, “[The Department of Health] had heard that if anyone could do it, it would be HotDoc. That made me really proud.”

48 hours… and counting

By Friday afternoon, the 48 hour deadline was fast approaching. Spacek says, “Throughout the night the team shipped code at a furious pace. Our product team worked all through the night. 

“At 5am on Saturday morning, one team of developers turned in to get some sleep, while another woke and continued the work. We were determined to show that a small team could fulfill a project of this scale.”

"Through Saturday morning the team shipped code and iterated. Code flew in all directions. The teamwork was a sight to behold. A well-oiled, albeit incredibly worn out and sleepy, machine."

On Saturday March 21 at 1pm the product went live for the first one of 150 respiratory sites. “I have never been more proud of the team for the fastest ever delivery,” Spacek says.

In an address to the company, Spacek, who led the project, shared:


“I’d like to add a note about glorifying heroics. Normally I would cringe at a company glorifying a team who work all through the night to pull off a heroic task. It’s not good for you, and it’s not a healthy behaviour to encourage. However, these aren’t normal times. People around the world are going above and beyond to contribute, and I think it’s amazing that given the chance to contribute we stepped up and over-delivered. That said, we can’t help if we’re unhealthy, burnt out, or just too tired. So prioritise looking after yourself.”

Tom Spacek, CTO HotDoc

Partnering with the government to expand COVID-19 testing

More recently HotDoc has partnered with the Federal Government again to help roll out wider COVID-19 testing as part of the next stage of the Government’s strategy to fight the disease. 

“Our team has built a solution that allows people to book in at a respiratory clinic in a click,” Spacek says.


The booking solution is accessed through health.gov.au and is helping The Department of Health widen the testing for COVID-19 across Australia. This motion was set in place after the Prime Minister announced last week that Australia needs to conduct more extensive testing before social isolation restrictions are rolled back.


You can read more about how HotDoc is helping the Department of Health here: 

Herald Sun: Melbourne start-up HotDoc fast-tracking COVID-19 testing during pandemic

Pulse IT: HotDoc providing appointment booking solution for pop-up COVID clinic

7 News: Online booking platform “HotDoc” soars

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