In this article, we compare Hero Health and Swiftqueue, uncovering functionality from online booking to patient messaging to enhanced access appointments, to find the best provider of NHS appointment booking software.
I recently came across an article published by the Practice Management System solution Cliniko, in which they endeavoured to provide an ‘unbiased’ comparison between themselves and one of their biggest competitors, Power Diary. Both operate in the NHS appointment booking space and both are heavily involved in providing solutions for primary and secondary care. They claimed that the article was intended to divert from traditional comparative reviews, which often (and unfairly) are weighted in favour of the publisher and intend to diminish the value of their competitor to prop themselves up on a pedestal. It was refreshing to read a piece that sought to sell on value, trusting their solution as a stand-alone decider, rather than having to undermine their competitors to claim market share in a hotly contested industry. As a result, it seemed only fair that the first episode of 'The Healthtech Hunt' was written in this vein. No bias. No cheap shots. Just facts. An old-fashioned show down.
We start this series looking at the Irish based Practice Management Software provider Swiftqueue. ‘Why Swiftqueue?’ you might ask? Well, it’s not because today happens to be St Patrick’s Day, and festive tradition got the better of me (although now I think of it, it’s beautifully on brand).
Swifqueue are a major player in the appointment management space for secondary care. They claim to work with ‘leading Hospitals in HSE and NHS for a range of clinics’ and offer modules such as online booking, electronic referrals and a patient portal.
However, Hero Health have also been venturing into the secondary care market, offering an excellent and well-established online booking solution, complete with messaging, appointment reminders, online cancellations and more.
Having left a significant mark in primary care already, it seemed apt to kick the series off to a strong start and take on the big boys right away.
If you're here because you're looking for the best alternative to Swiftqueue, it’s always useful to visualise the differences between Hero Health and Swiftqueue. Below is a table that outlines the basic functionality of Hero Health and Swiftqueue, which should give you useful context for the rest of the article.
This may sound obvious, but the first question you need to ask yourself when looking for an online booking solution is: ‘do I need it for primary or secondary care’?
If the answer is primary care, then you needn’t read any further; Hero Health operates at over 150 sites nationally, providing services for GPs, PCNs and Federations. This might sound bias (and perhaps it is) but you won’t find a more complete online booking solution than Hero Health in primary care. In fact, you might as well sign up to Hero right here.
If the answer is secondary care, then you’ll want to continue reading.
Swiftqueue is more established than Hero Health in this space, there’s no denying. Secondary care is their primary market, and this is where they look destined to stay.
However, as the young buck in this space, Hero Health brings the technological and industry experience of having worked in primary care to this market, destined to shake it up with exciting product launches such as NHS Login, GP Connect and a partnership with E-Consult.
If you are looking for a solution to integrate with your EPR, Hero Health is your best bet. Swiftqueue doesn’t offer any sophisticated integrations with established EPRs while Hero offers a deep integration with EMIS thanks to their Elite partnership status.
This means that all bookings, messages and appointments taken through Hero Health will appear directly in your EMIS diary, and vice versa.
There are also exciting rumblings in the Hero camp...talks of a SystmOne integration are looking promising and we are looking to go live with this by the Summer of 2023.
At the end of the day, no matter how great a solution is, or how amazing you thought the article was (*cough* *cough*) … it all comes down to price.
Hero is priced on a per-location basis and at an annual rate. It’s not modular, so don’t expect any sneaky fees appearing when you want to use the batch messaging function (we’re looking at you AccurX). You can read more about Hero’s fees here.
Transparently, we don’t know much about Swiftqueue's pricing as it’s not available on their website. However, I’m sure they’re also fair.
Make you fly? Win the lottery? Or just help you and your patients?
If it’s the latter, then you’re still in the right place. Both Hero and Swiftqueue offer solutions designed to assist with administrative workloads, improving the experience of both staff and patients.
Swiftqueue are more focused on the patient experience. They have invested heavily in self-check-in kiosks which enable patients to confirm their attendance with ease and other modules to improve the booking experience.
Hero Health on the other hand offer a more complete online booking solution, thanks to layers of functionality. One feature that really sets us apart is our work on PDS (or auto-tracing) which means that when patients book into Hero, they’re details are automatically traced, meaning you won’t need to sift through batches of unregistered patients.
As an unbiased review, it’s not up to us to decide. Hopefully this article has given you a little more insight into the two providers and what they can offer, and perhaps made you think further about which solution is the best for you.
Should you want to book a call with one of the team to learn more, please schedule it here.