Why rural practice needs an integrated digital solution
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Why rural practice needs an integrated digital solution

Rural and regional healthcare can be often complex, stressful and extremely busy, with doctors and nurses tending to a wide range of community health needs.

Queensland-based Downs Rural Medical recently found a scalable and sustainable healthcare ecosystem that could streamline workflow and appointments, and free up time to focus on the complexities of rural health treatments and procedures.

The complexities of providing rural and regional care

Queensland-based Downs Rural Medical is a general practice dedicated to delivering patient-centric care to the rural and regional communities of Oakey, Kingsthorpe, Toowoomba and surrounds.

Dr John Hall, Downs Rural Medical’s Practice Principal, said the practice offers a wide range of services to meet the healthcare demands of the rural and regional area, including women’s health, vasectomies, chronic disease, skin cancer medicine and emergency care.

“Our healthcare practitioners have a broad skill set and our point of difference is being that one stop shop for rural health in the region,” he said. “We service a very broad demographic”.

The need to streamline a busy rural practice

Since the inception of the practice in 2007, Downs Rural Medical has used both Clinical and Pracsoft by MedicalDirector as their go-to practice management solution. The practice wanted to leverage MedicalDirector’s partner solutions to even further streamline their busy rural practice.

“I was initially concerned about how software solutions could work or articulate together, but after integrating HotDoc in to our existing solution, we were very pleased with how everything worked and integrated so seamlessly,” Dr Hall said. “We’ve also been impressed with the visual way in which appointments can be booked and managed across the MedicalDirector and HotDoc integrated system.”

A game changing solution

In 2017, Downs Rural Medical decided to integrate the online appointment platform, HotDoc, to its existing Clinical and Pracsoft ecosystem. The result, Dr Hall said, has been a game changer.

“Having HotDoc integrated with MedicalDirector and Pracsoft has been a real game changer,” he said. “It’s revolutionised our practice, had a positive impact on streamlining the patient booking process, helped increase the number of new patients and improve our overall digital footprint and online presence. With the online booking option, we’ve also noticed a significant reduction in the burden on reception.”

As the practice has gotten to know the software better and is utilising more of HotDoc’s functions, Dr Hall said they’ve uncovered even more efficiencies, particularly at the recall stage.

“The recall function has alleviated a lot of administrative burden for both our nursing and reception staff ” he added. “We’ve also enjoyed the automated patient confirmation function as reception have fewer phone calls to make to confirm appointments. Reception have also given us positive feedback that the new integrated system is very user-friendly and stress-free.”

Read more about Downs Rural Medical’s story here.