The rise of the virtual GP: How cloud-based health software is lowering the barriers to starting a practice
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The rise of the virtual GP: How cloud-based health software is lowering the barriers to starting a practice

The healthcare sector is witnessing a remarkable shift, much akin to the gig economy wave that revolutionised transportation and hospitality. This time, it’s about the healthcare providers themselves, with cloud-based clinical software fueling a new breed of entrepreneurial GPs, who are carving out a niche in the modern healthcare landscape.

The rise of the virtual GP

The gig economy in general practice

In the gig economy, flexibility is king, and healthcare is no exception. GPs are now more than ever leveraging the benefits of being independent practitioners. There are the one-man bands/solo artists taking on the role of both general practitioner and practice manager; there are the Sonny and Cher couples partnering to run their own small practice; and the rotating drummer GPs and locums who are extending their services virtually from the comfort of their homes, supplementing their income and filling gaps in patient demand.
It’s not just small sized operators, there are also larger practices delivering 100% virtual appointments, providing flexibility to entire clinical and administrative teams. What these examples all have in common is they are benefiting from running their operations without the burden of traditional overheads.

The gig economy in general practice

How Helix is fueling this new wave?

Helix is at the forefront, offering a cloud-based clinical software solution that drastically cuts the setup costs traditionally associated with starting a practice. With Helix, the overheads, IT infrastructure, servers, and IT support costs become a thing of the past. This cloud-based system is accessible from anywhere, requiring only a device with internet connectivity.

Add to that (or subtract even!) the need for rental premises in cases where all appointments are delivered virtually, and suddenly the cost to stand up a practice from scratch has been slashed; which significantly lowers the barriers to entry for GPs when considering starting their own practice.

By eliminating the need for these physical assets and the associated costs, GPs can reinvest their capital into other aspects of their practice, like patient care and service diversification. The lack of geographical constraints also mean GPs can reach a broader patient base, making healthcare more accessible and inclusive.
Virtual care delivery is not just a response to recent global challenges; it’s a long-term, sustainable model for healthcare. It offers patients the convenience and comfort of receiving care at home and provides GPs with the work-life flexibility that the gig economy is known for. Helix supports this modern approach to healthcare, with features that enable seamless virtual consultations, intuitive user experience and secure data management.

Secure regardless of size

For small practices and independent practitioners, the thought of managing data security can be daunting but shouldn’t impede a GP’s ambition. Cloud-based software like Helix offers a solution where security complements functionality, transforming risk mitigation into a cost-effective, manageable component of daily operations. With comprehensive security measures inherently built-in, GPs can focus on patient care without the added burden of significant financial investment in security infrastructure.

Helix utilises Microsoft’s Azure platform and security protocols include secure data encryption, continuous monitoring, and automatic updates that guard against cybersecurity threats. These features collectively act as a shield, safeguarding sensitive patient information and the GP’s professional reputation. This level of security also mitigates the risk of costly data breaches, which can incur not only financial penalties but also erode patient trust.

Empowering GPs and patients

Empowering GPs and patients

For GPs considering their own practice for the first time, cloud-based clinical software is a game-changer. It offers the freedom to design a work schedule that fits personal life, the ability to manage a practice without a physical office, and the tools to provide high-quality and secure care remotely. For patients, it means easier access to healthcare and the assurance that their medical records are secure and easily transferable.

As cloud healthcare technology combines with mobile-first working and responds to population needs, the gig economy approach to delivering GP services is reshaping the landscape of primary care. The flexibility of cloud-based clinical software is instrumental in supporting these GPs, many of whom are navigating this path for the first time, leading to the emergence of a new and diverse generation of mobile GPs.

Fueling new communities

This new wave of healthcare providers finds themselves part of an exciting, unique and evolving community, made up of healthcare professionals with varied backgrounds and experiences. This creates opportunities to exchange knowledge and access peer support. From guidance for those transitioning to an independent practice, advice on starting a part-time virtual clinic, or augmenting patient care in established practices, this community can thrive on collaboration and shared learning.

Helix has recognised the strength of this community and created Feedback Hub as a way to engage with users on how to improve the technology that supports the care they deliver. Every Helix user has the opportunity to participate and collaborate on the future of software by:

  • Submitting ideas: If you have a groundbreaking idea or a feature suggestion, the Feedback Hub is your stage. Share your vision and watch it gain visibility within the community.
  • Voting on ideas: Every vote counts. Peruse the ideas put forth by fellow users and cast your vote on proposals that can redefine general practice. Popular ideas gain priority, guiding the future of Helix.
  • Providing feedback: The conversation grows richer with your input. Comment on ideas, enrich the discussion with your insights, or seek clarifications. This is the place for constructive engagement.
  • Collaborating with us: Your voice is a catalyst for change. We don’t just listen; we engage. Feedback is regularly reviewed, ensuring your suggestions are integral to our development roadmap.

As the gig economy continues to evolve, cloud-based solutions like Helix are empowering GPs to design a healthcare delivery model that works for them and their patients. The benefits are clear: reduced startup costs, increased accessibility, maximum security and the flexibility to provide care on their terms. Modern virtual care delivery is not only about accessible care for patients; it’s about dismantling the barriers to establishing a new practice, setting the stage for a smarter, more connected future in healthcare.

Are you starting a practice and want to find out more about Helix, our cloud-based all-in-one PMS and EHR for medical practices? Find out more here

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