In this article, we compare Hero Health and AccurX, uncovering functionality from online booking to patient messaging to enhanced access appointments, to find the best provider of NHS appointment booking software.
If you’re reading this article, I can hazard a guess at how you’ve spent the last thirty minutes...
You’ve opened Google and searched something along the lines of ‘best online booking solution for NHS’ or ‘best alternative to Accurx’. You’ve come across the likes of iPlato, Mjog, and others, but nothings felt like a fit. You’ve done one final search, praying you find a solution that offers online booking, messaging, appointment reminders and cross-organisational booking, and low-and-behold, Hero Health has appeared. You’ve clicked this article and now you’re wondering where to go next.
Well, luckily for you (and luckily for us) this article is intended to answer these questions and more. If this is your first time visiting the Hero Health website, then I encourage you to read our first edition of ‘The Hunt’, where we compared Hero Health to Swiftqueue. This will also give you some flavour as to the stylistic structure of these comparisons.
If you can’t be bothered, I’ll give you an overview. These articles are designed to be ‘unbiased’. We compare features, pricing, markets etc. And hope that the facts standout. No need for embellishment; just a good old fashioned show down.
One question we get asked frequently is ‘what’s the difference between Hero Health and Accurx’. To us, the answer is simple, but to a PCN Manager or Federation lead responsible for a large budget to spend on tech, every difference is important.
Hero Health and Accurx occupy very similar markets. Both are leading players in the online appointments space, and both offer comprehensive messaging solutions, both single and batch. It would be fair to say that Hero Health and Accurx are the most like for like solutions out there, and thus it is important you as a reader truly understand the differences. Before we deep-dive, it’s always useful to visualise the differences. Below is a table that you can use to compare feature sets and functionality.
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Whilst this is not an exhaustive list, it illustrates a number of things:
Strange question, I know. But it is critical to understand where you sit as a buyer and where your needs collide with the solutions provided. The needs of a Practice Manager looking for a messaging solution for 30,000 patients are going to differ significantly from a COO of a Federation looking to ensure all their enhanced access appointments are available to their patients online.
Hero Health is designed to support individuals across all levels. Hero’s online booking and messaging functionality can be used by single GP practices, whilst their ‘Networks’ solution (which enables online booking for enhanced access) is clearly designed to appease PCNs, Federations, ICBs and in fact, anyone who has an interest in meeting the newest DES requirements.
Arguably, Accurx has more functionality at a practice level. Unquestionably, Accurx are the market leader when it comes to patient messaging. SNOMED, Floreys, questionnaires they do it all. And this is why practices love it. However, unlike Hero Health, they haven’t quite cracked the ‘all-in-one' solution. Whilst messaging is king, they’re struggling to keep up with Hero’s online booking functionality, something that has been dominating the network DES in recent months and seems to be driving the future of HealthTech in primary care.
Online booking for NHS providers has come a long way. From Swiftqueue to Hero to Accurx to Patient Access, there are solutions across the market, offering different versions of what is intended to be the same thing: the ability for patients to book directly into an appointment online.
Online has up until now, been defined by the ability for an admin to create a link and send it to a patient via email or SMS. This has been the staple of Hero and Accurx and has worked well for both. Both providers offer useful additional features, to set their offering asides from the rest. SNOMED, appointment reminders, and forms to name a few.
However, where Hero and Accurx differ, and where we can see Hero edge ahead as an all-in-one booking solution provider, is through the methods of delivery. Hero Health has developed an intelligent online booking solution that enables practices, PCNs or Federations to put their appointments online via their website or social media pages. Restrictions can be put on these appointments to minimise the number of inappropriate bookings and patient information can be captured before and after the booking.
And to top it all off, if after all that a patient decides they can’t come, they can simply cancel or reschedule their appointment online.
Another important consideration when looking for an online booking provider is what types of appointments you will be offering.
Accurx and Hero Health are excellent at delivering online booking for slot types that align directly with availability in your EMIS diary. Slots are pulled directly from EMIS and made visible to patients, who can book directly in.
However, Hero Health has cross-organisational capabilities that mean practices can invite their patients to book directly into EMIS diaries other than their own. These appointments will then be traced in using PDS to ensure that patient details are correct and an admin on the other end doesn’t have to manually trace their details in.
Hero Health enables collaboration between groups of practices within a PCN or Federation by allowing them to share appointments and deliver comprehensive patient care. With the newest GP Contract’s emphasis on same day appointments, it is critical to have a solution that enables practices to book their patients into other appointments without delay.
The opportunities are relatively limitless here...physiotherapy, enhanced access, structured medication reviews...all can be shared amongst a network in Hero and subsequently, patient care can be delivered efficiently and appropriately.
Again, we’re not ones to judge. It feels like a closer competition than our first episode, as Accurx quite clearly steam ahead with messaging.
However, Hero managed to trade some excellent blows with their online booking functionality and look like they nearly sealed the deal with their cross-organisational capabilities.
What do you think. Who finishes this round victorious? And who is left lying on the canvas?
Either way, why not book a call with us to learn more.