Surgical Partners and Westpac together to make health industry more efficient

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As any startup founder will tell you, it’s a great feeling when you get clear evidence of a validated solution from a customer. Everybody at BlueChilli has that feeling this week, as we see some great customer validation of HelloHealthTech, a BlueChilli & Westpac Innovation Challenge focusing on discovering, evaluating and empowering Australia’s best early-stage healthtech startups.

Our Innovation Challenge programs are designed to discover great tech startups and entrepreneurs before the rest of the world has heard of them, and give them some money and mentoring to help them grow faster and avoid common mistakes.

In each Innovation Challenge our ‘stretch goal’ is to match corporate partners with startups we hope will form closer partnerships over time, whether that be in the form of early-stage investment, signing up as an early customer, or working together on distribution and marketing, as we see here with Westpac and Surgical Partners.

When it works, it’s good for the startup, it’s good for the corporate partner, it’s good for BlueChilli and it’s great for Australia.

The 2016 Innovation Challenge attracted around 250 applications from startups and entrepreneurs across Australia. Surgical Partners was a winner of a $40,000 cash prize and mentoring from BlueChilli and Westpac.

Surgical Partners winning the Innovation Challenge
Surgical Partners winning the Innovation Challenge

This week, Westpac announced it has signed an agreement with Surgical Partners which will see the companies work together to accelerate the adoption of Surgical Partners’ integration, reconciliation, and doctor billings technology. The partnership will also foster collaboration on complementary digital solutions for longer term innovation across the industry.

Commenting on the partnership National Head of Healthcare, Leon Berkovich said: “We surveyed our client base and there was a consistent message that medical practices suffered pain points around reconciliation and medical practitioner distributions. Through this collaboration with Surgical Partners we are combining our expertise to fill the gaps and deliver tangible solutions for medical practices.”

Marcus Wilson, CEO of Surgical Partners said: “Westpac holds a leadership position in healthcare financial services, and is determined to deliver innovative digital solutions to their clients. Their powerful distribution network is a natural partner for our financial management solutions for healthcare practices.”

Wilson predicts the startup’s software — which costs between $1-6,000 per practice per year, could save the average practice $45-50,000 per year.

Ultimately, Wilson says, with over 85 per cent of practices doctor-owned, it’s about freeing up time for patient care.

Marcus Wilson_Surgical Partners
Marcus Wilson of Surgical Partners

“The practice managers can turn their attention to real clinical quality improvement in the practice,” he says.

The first Westpac customer to use the new technology is laser eye surgery centre, Focus Eye Centre.

“Focus Eye Centre has been at the forefront of computer usage in medical practice recognising the benefits in efficiency and cost reduction that information technology can provide. The Surgical Partners system automates most of our complex financial reconciliation process saving time, eliminating tedious transcription and providing greater accuracy,” said Dr Margaret Kearns, Director, Focus Eye Centre.

Congratulations to Westpac and Marcus Wilson and the team at Surgical Partners; we wish you the very best for continued success.