The name of the game for primary care in 2023 is digitalisation. Current data shows that 15.1 million people in the UK are registered to book their GP appointments online, yet low provisions of a complete ‘online booking’ technology means that many of these patients are being denied access to easily bookable and accessible healthcare appointments.
There are many companies in the current market that offer great digital healthcare solutions. AccurX has dominated the messaging market for years; E-Consult offers a comprehensive online triage solution; and patient access has (up until now) been a suitable way of managing appointments online. However, these major players haven’t been able to provide a comprehensive solution to online booking. Certain features are present among key players, that is true, but none have designed an all-encompassing solution that gives both practices and patients a complete toolkit to manage their healthcare this way.
The urgency for such a solution has been further compounded by the most recent ‘Networks DES’, which requires PCN’s to offer extended access appointments online for patients.
This is why Hero Health have developed a solution that can revolutionise the way in which primary care providers, from practice; to PCN; to ICB, can fill their diaries and provide patients with the best-in-class healthcare. And at the same time ensure they’re meeting the newest DES requirements.
What defines Hero, and sets it apart from its competitors, is the fact that it offers a complete appointment management service for online booking. While competitors offer some variation of reactive online booking (admins inviting patients to book into an appointment online), Hero incorporates this with a pro-active, patient driven solution too.
To simplify, Hero allows you to:
· Invite patients to book directly into appointments in your EMIS diary through intelligent booking links sent via SMS or email
· Put booking links for appointments on your website or social media page, so that patients simply click in and select the appointment time that suits them. This is then booked directly into your EMIS diary
By offering a pro-active (patient led) and reactive (admin led) solution, Hero can simultaneously ease the burden on practice staff and improve the patient booking experience. Imagine a receptionist needs to invite1000 patients due for their annual asthma reviews. What would this look like? Worst case scenario: they have to manually call through all 1000 patients and book them in over the phone. (Current) best case scenario: they use a messaging tool requesting patients to call the practice and book their appointment. However, this isn’t really a best-case scenario when you consider the logistics. Either way, the admin will have to speak with 1000 patients over the phone; it’s just a matter of order rather than anything else.
Now, consider the scenario with Hero. The admin pulls the list of patients in the same way, but rather than inviting them to call the practice, they invite them to book directly, without needing to call anyone. The patients can view all available appointments, selecting the one that suits them best. They can now cancel and reschedule without having to call the practice either.
Now let's consider the pro-active, patient led solution. The scenario: A patient knows that they need to book a blood test in the next three days. However, it’s a Saturday. Their practice is closed, and they’re worried they’ll have missed all the available slots. Without Hero, the patient has to wait; Monday morning comes around and inevitably the practice phone lines are flooded with desperate patients calling to book their appointment. The patients have to wait an age on the phone as over-worked receptionists have to manage a flurry of requests all day.
However, with Hero Health, practices and PCN’s no longer need to fear the morning rush. They can simply paste Hero’s dynamic online booking links onto their website or social media page, which are tied to any appointments they wish to appear. Patients can then click through (day or night) and book themselves into the appointment they require. This drives patient satisfaction and reduces administrative burdens. Practice staff can also put restrictions in place based on age and gender, ensuring that only the right patient books into the right appointment.
Hero was built with two aims: to improve patient experience and help receptionists and practice staff manage a heavy workload. By offering a two-pronged solution, Hero allows for flexibility, meaning that practices can decide how they offer appointments whilst maintaining control over their diary and reserving the phone lines for patients who really need to speak to someone.