One System for 4 Clinics—A General Practice, Skin Clinic, Weight Loss Clinic and Earwax Clinic
Dr Harpreet Singh (second from right) and Dr Ina Takkar (third from right) are a husband and wife team who run four Melbourne practices in one—Waverley General Practice, Waverley Skin Cancer Clinic, Elina Medical Weight Loss, and The Earwax Clinic. The clinics are run as separate entities but are co-located and run from the same database.
It’s no surprise how Dr Singh and Dr Takkar have built such a successful operation since starting out just a decade ago. Their complementary skillsets make for a dynamic team. Dr Singh has a background in IT, making him a great fit for running the operational side of things, while Dr Takkar leverages her nous for business and people to spearhead their marketing efforts and lead their team as Practice Principal. Both also continue to practise as GPs.
Dr Singh says that what initially drove them to HotDoc was the fact that the software was easily customisable to their complex set up. “It was the customisation that was needed. All the bookings and reminders needed to be set up differently based on the four different clinics.”
“Because there was a high level of complexity trying to run four practices independently but sharing the same location and database, we needed a system like HotDoc that was customisable and had everything all-in-one.”
Dr Takkar Practice Principal says, “[Dr] Harpreet [Singh] has an IT background and he looked at all the solutions available to us and HotDoc was by far the best fit for our complex needs.”
Dr Singh says the biggest benefit of HotDoc Online Bookings is the time saved.
When I ask him exactly how much time, he laughs. “That’s a hard question but let’s think about the numbers. We’re getting around 1,400 bookings a month through HotDoc. Even if you save a minute on the phone per booking. That’s 1400 minutes a month.”
In the last 30 days…
HotDoc online bookings
Approx minutes saved
Approx hours saved
Dr Singh says, “For the reception staff it has taken a load of work off of them because a lot of people are booking online.”
Dr Takkar adds, “From a patient point of view [HotDoc] Online Bookings is a great solution because it is really easy for patients to use and it doesn’t ask for personal details. It goes straight into showing patients what appointments are available without compromising patient confidentiality. So we really like it in terms of patient confidentiality, privacy and visibility.”
“Plus it’s the convenience,” she adds. “You see that a lot of our bookings are done after-hours—at like 2am in the morning. Patients can book anytime they want and even cancel and reschedule without having to call. And it means they don’t have to wait on hold when booking appointments.”
Above: Dr Ina Takkar with a patient
New Patient Registration Forms
Dr Harpreet Singh says that although bookings are saving them time and improving the patient experience, “[New Patient Registration] forms are what triggered us to actually make the move. We needed a much simpler path for new patient registration and a secure way of doing it. Something HotDoc offered.”
“We liked the customisability of [HotDoc’s] forms. We could create a new patient form for each clinic. It meant that we didn’t have to extract more information than we really needed from patients.”
Dr Singh also cites time saving and reduced data errors as benefits to HotDoc’s forms. “When you’re a busy new patient clinic, which we are—we’re seeing a lot of new patients—a lot of the work at the front desk is manually entering the information from filled in new patient forms. Now it’s all electronic.”
Dr Singh shares, “It’s just nice having a simple system that auto-imports all the documents and creates the file. For instance, one of our clinics has predominantly new patients and it is a lot of work to register all those patients. But now they all turn up at the clinic pre-registered and ready to see the doctor. That’s taken a lot of pressure and burden off reception.”
Dr Singh also praises HotDoc Reminders for giving their doctors better insight into potential no-shows. “Our doctors really enjoy seeing when appointments have been confirmed. It makes it a lot easier to know if a patient is definitely coming.”
In the last 30 days, for instance, 82% of patients confirmed their appointments.
In the last 30 days…
Dr Singh says these SMS reminders have reduced the clinic’s no-shows by around half.
“The no-show rates have reduced a lot since we put in [HotDoc's] reminders system—I’d say by 50%. We used to have around 2-3 no shows a day. Now we’re down to 1-2.”
“Plus our patients really like the reminders and having the ability to cancel an appointment without lots of complex back-and-forth calling. They can just rebook on their phone. So for them it’s really convenient to take charge of their booking,” Dr Singh says.
Dr Takkar cites this same benefit. “It gives patients full control to do things when and where they want and it has the added benefit of freeing up our reception team.”
Dr Singh also points to HotDoc Recalls as saving them time and money. “We use HotDoc exclusively for our recalls. We find using SMS a big cost saving.”
In the last 30 days, for instance, more than 500 SMS recalls were sent by Waverly General Practice using HotDoc. When you consider the cost spent printing and sending this amount of letters, HotDoc’s recalls system is saving Dr Singh and Dr Takka more than $600 a month—and this doesn’t include staff time saved sending letters, chasing patients, and fielding calls.
In the last 30 days…
SMS Recalls sent
Recalls booked online
Saved in printing & postage
Dr Singh shares, “Having it all in the one system is handy too, and knowing what the cost is going to be each month makes it far more manageable.”