Recently I attended a corporate general practice provider for an appointment, and as I sat on a rigid chair tensely waiting for my two year-old to inevitably launch toys across the cavernous waiting room, a poster caught my eye.
It was advertising what looked like an app of some sort, but I could not work out if it was for a personal or electronic health record or appointment booking or similar.
Interestingly, at no time before, during or after the appointment did any member of staff mention the advertised-app to me or encourage me to download it, use it or otherwise. Sadly, I was still handed paper at the end of the appointment but this poster was a tiny ray of hope. Perhaps next time I will use it.
The advantage of these experiences is that they usually spawn an article idea. So here it is, a brief foray into the corporate general practice providers’ basic healthtech usage.
70+ Medical Centres
Appointment Booking: Halo GP
Healius made a clever move when developing their own patient booking app. They didn’t. They stuck to what they know and engaged the impressive HotDoc to essentially whitelabel their own successful product and call it HaloGP.
290 reviews in the Apple Store and 375 in the Google Play Store sees their solution gain a respectable 4.5 and 4.7 out of 5 score respectively.
We propose the main challenge with all corporates is their general business model and flow. Sticking rigidly to timeslots is not their forte, nor is it supposed to be, but also due their size and mechanics GPs and other health professionals can so updating the back-end details livetime to be 100% accurate is tricky, adoption or not.
Practice Management Software: MedicalDirector
Despite the advent of cloud-based systems, these have tended to have more success in the “Specialist” world so far, and not so much in General Practice. Healius uses MedicalDirector as their provider of choice, however this is largely due to legacy and the seemingly gargantuan task of switching so many practices in one hit.
It has been much-publicised the lack of success of MedicalDirector’s cloud product Helix, so we suspect other cloud services are knocking loudly and persistently on Healius’ door.
At the risk of causing healthy debate about whether telehealth / telemedicine is defined as a simple phone call or video call, we did our best to ascertain which product or service each group uses. Although COVID-driven and and not primarily a telehealth provider, HotDoc introduced their own feature for video calls called HotDoc Telehealth Video, the assumption being Healius use this when specifically needed and the humble reliable audio capability of a telephone elsewhere.
IPN (owned by Sonic Clinical Services)
160 x Medical Centres
Appointment Booking: GP4Me
Much like Healius, IPN decided to venture to HotDoc for their solution, and named it GP4Me.
The average rating from users is almost identical to Healius’, no surprises here as the product is essentially the same, but with the most amount of medical centres in Australia IPN have garnered 768 reviews in the Google Play Store and 909 in the Apple Store with a healthy 4.5 and 4.8 out of 5 (assuming the majority of these are legitimate and not “doctored”, because that never happens in healthtech right?).
Practice Management Software: Best Practice
Did you expect IPN to use the same software as their biggest competitor? Of course not. They favour Best Practice largely, now more than certainly the most used provider in the country. Although not taking over the world yet, BP have strengthened their cause and will no doubt benefit from their reputation to coax customers like IPN slowly but surely to the(ir) cloud.
As with Healius, it is almost a given that IPN use HotDoc if and when a video consult is a given.
61 x Medical Centres
Appointment Booking: HotDoc
At the risk of sounding boring, it comes as no surprise that Fullerton Health chose, you guessed it, HotDoc to develop their app, with the difference in their approach all in a name. No fancy product brand here, just simply “Fullerton Health” (note: HotDoc whitelabel for several other “corporate” or group practice services too).
90 reviews on the Google Play Store and 73 in the Apple Store give this effort a decent 4.5 and 4.8 rating, but suggest little usage by patients.
Practice Management Software: ZedMed / Best Practice
Fullerton have made some substantial acquisitions in the past few years, notably their 2017 complete takeover of Healthscope's Medical Centre portfolio. With this purchase, they inherited the use of ZedMed as the preferred software in use, but we suspect Best Practice is also used in the majority of their other centres.
It is unclear whether this is used in Australia at an individual patient level, as we can safely say HotDoc is on hand to provide this again, but in Fullerton’s practices in Asia, they have lauded the use of their own product FHN3, though it looks like it is used more widely in corporate companies as a portal to conduct video calls.
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