'HotDoc Recalls Has Saved Us So Much, We’ve Hired a HotDoc Ambassador', Mackay Family Medical Practice
Mackay Family Medical Practice is a Queensland general practice that has been running since 2000. When it first opened its doors, the clinic had 3 GPs. For the first 15 years of operation, this is how the clinic remained until the practice changed ownership in 2015.
Since then, the clinic has grown rapidly, employing 12 GPs, 6 part-time nurses, a practice manager and 10 reception staff. Practice Manager, Michelle Katt, who joined the clinic in 2011 says, “The practice is now one of the biggest in Mackay.”
Why the move to HotDoc?
Practice Manager, Michelle Katt explains, “We first turned to HotDoc because more and more of our patients wanted to be able to book outside of hours. So, we started with that and we’ve just seen so much organic growth.”
"It’s incredible how much it’s grown over that period. When we first started, we had a few online bookings. Now, we’re at well over 2,000 bookings a month through HotDoc."
Michelle explains that the clinic has also seen a big drop in DNAs since using HotDoc. “Today, we only have about 2 people not attend each day. That’s quite amazing really because we used to get around 10 to 15 in a day.”
HotDoc appointments per month
fewer no shows
staff time saved per month
Despite seeing a reduction in DNAs by the hundreds, and receiving over 2,000 appointments each month, Michelle says the biggest value she gets from HotDoc is the time it saves her nursing and reception team. In particular, she credits HotDoc Results.
Pictured: Practice Manager, Michelle Katt (middle row, second from right), with her reception team
Before using HotDoc Results
Michelle explains, “Before [using HotDoc Results], I used to have admin and nurses that were nominated for a particular doctor. So, that staff member would manage that doctor’s results. So, they used to open up the list and go through it between phone calls.
“Each doctor could have anywhere from 30 to 100 people on their results list at any given time. And we’ve got 12 doctors. So we could be managing over 1,000 patients for results at a time.
“And, the staff member used to have to make sure that the patient had 3 contacts on 3 different days of the week at 3 different times of day. Plus a letter, and a registered letter if the result was clinically significant.
“With each patient that didn’t make an appointment, it would be 4-6 weeks from the time we first made contact to the time where we said, ‘Okay, this patient has had all the contacts required. We’ve done the best we can and we’ve met accreditation standards’.
“So, it was quite a big process and there was a lot of going back and forth trying to work out whether the patient had been in to see the doctor or not, or whether they needed another contact or not.
“It used to take up a lot of time and a lot of resources. And there was a lot of stress because we know how important it is to make sure a patient gets those contacts and that we do everything that we can to make sure that they do come back.”
After using HotDoc Results
Here’s how HotDoc Results works:
A secure SMS is sent to patients who have ‘non-urgent’ results but need to book in for a follow-up appointment. The secure SMS includes a link to book an appointment online. If the patient doesn’t book a follow-up appointment, a second SMS is sent 2 days later. If the patient still doesn’t book an appointment, a third SMS is sent after 2 days. If no appointment is booked, a letter can be automatically generated. All your clinic needs to do is look at the list of patients who need to receive a letter. From here, you can manually print and send your letters. All contact attempts are written back to the PMS so clinics have a record of how many times a specific patient has been contacted.
Since starting to use HotDoc Results, Michelle says the clinic is saving at least 20 hours a week of staff time because most of the manual systems have been automated.
"Since we’ve crossed over to HotDoc Results, we’re saving at least 20 hours a week. That’s a conservative estimate. It’s just so much more automated."
Michelle shares, “It’s so much easier now. We have a process where the nurses are now managing all the results and clinical reminders under the recalls list in HotDoc. They’re managing them in probably a quarter of the time they used to.
“Now, we just come into the dashboard and we bring up the list of patients that have been seen but not marked as notified. We write them all down. We give the doctor this list of patients who have been seen but are yet to be contacted. And the doctor comes back to us and says ‘I have marked that result as not needed’, or ‘I still need to see that patient’. It’s an incredibly streamlined system compared to what it used to be.”
Employing a HotDoc ambassador
With the money saved, Michelle says she’s in the process of training up one of her junior staff members to be a HotDoc ambassador.
So, they used to open up the list and go through it between phone calls.
"I’ve got a junior who’s at uni training to become a nurse. I’m going to get her to come in for 2-3 hours in the morning, a few days each week, and be a HotDoc ambassador. She’ll go around the waiting room educating patients on HotDoc."
“So, she’ll say to patients, ‘Do you know how to book online? Have you downloaded the HotDoc app? Do you know that you’re going to get a reminder before your appointment? Do you know how to click on the link and open it?’ You know, spend some time to help educate patients.
“The benefit is that the more people who sign up for HotDoc, the less time our staff will be spending on the phone to them. So, we’re really trying to encourage that.”
Above and beyond customer service
As well as getting benefit from the platform itself, Michelle says one thing she loves most about HotDoc is the above and beyond customer service.
“One of the things I would say about HotDoc is how easy and quick it is for you guys to respond to any problem,” she says.
“Like, using Results. When it first came out and was still in the pilot stage, I was talking to Cheri [HotDoc Customer Success Manager] almost every day. Cheri is just fabulous. She spent so much time on the phone with me to help us iron out the kinks.
“I would say, ‘If you could do this, that would really help us’, or ‘If you could do it this way, that would really help us’. And often, the turnaround for the changes was only 48 hours. So, that in itself is just wonderful.
“All the staff at HotDoc are really responsive to any concerns and I’ve not found any occasion where I’ve been told we can’t do anything with that, or that has to stay the same way.”
Making the transition to HotDoc
Michelle says making the switch to HotDoc was initially daunting, but once the team had their head around the product it was smooth sailing.
“It takes a little while to get all the staff educated on the platform,” she says. “But, so long as everybody understands what they’re doing and how it works, then it’s an easy transition. And, once you’re up and running, it’s magic.”