This week has been a massive milestone at HealthMint Medical Centre in Cranbourne North. We have celebrated an incredible 4 years since the doors to the clinic opened. What an adventure it has been, and continues to be!
Founder and co-owner Chantelle Brott sits down to share her thoughts and reflections on the last 4 years of the HealthMint journey…
The birth of an idea
I was 25 years old, and finishing off my final semester of Science/Law at Monash uni, when Paul and I opened HealthMint. That makes it sound like I have a very high stress tolerance. I don’t. I just felt this strong and impossible-to-ignore pull to get out there and get started on our dream of vastly improving the healthcare system. I’m also pretty impatient, and felt that every day we hadn’t opened was another day we had lost an opportunity to create change. We have now reached our 4th birthday and are on the cusp of re-shaping our whole business for future growth. So this feels like the perfect time to look back, reflect and share some things that very few know about me and what has gone on behind the scenes of HealthMint in the last four years.
Most people who interact with HealthMint wouldn’t know who I am. But my fingerprints are on everything. My name is Chantelle and my husband (at the time, boyfriend) Paul and I opened HealthMint as equal partners in 2015. Most people are blown away by the fact that two people who weren’t even engaged would go all in on something like this together. But in our story, it makes perfect sense.
The HealthMint spark is ignited
Paul and I met in 2011 and came up with the idea for HealthMint around 2013. When we spent time together early on in our relationship we would spend hours talking about business, innovation and the healthcare system. It was like a fuse had been lit. We knew with absolute certainty that we had to and wanted to give life to our ideas. So we started spending time drafting concepts, business plans, area analyses, searching for sites and seeking out everything we could possibly learn about business. In secret. That’s right, we decided to take on this massive project, and we didn’t tell anyone for a long time. In some ways, that made it even more exciting.
My memory of how we pulled it all together is a bit blurry. At one point we met a bank representative at a business seminar (that led to us being able to source financing for our Cranbourne site). At another point we were bouncing between builders and architects and furniture shops and Medicare.
Growing the seed
I almost can’t believe this as I write it down, but we didn’t even have any employees around 2-3 weeks before being due to open our doors. We had very little idea of what to look for when interviewing our first reception applicants, but our gut feel didn’t let us down, and that’s how our first star receptionist (Jaymee) came on board. We’ve grown a lot together, and after opening with 4 people, including ourselves, there are now 22 (incredible) people in the team.
Designing the dream
Every large and tiny element you see when you interact with HealthMint was thought through by us. From plotting out the layout of our consulting rooms in my parents living room, to the size of the skirting boards and shade of paint on the walls. Everything has a thought process and a reason behind it. We also took a lot of risks. We really didn’t know before trying it out whether the concept of a mobile healthcare concierge would work.
We were also told by every IT company that we approached that setting up the existing medical software to work through wireless tablets (our goal) was impossible. They advised us to have, you guessed it, the big chunky desktop computer that you see at every other clinic in Australia, connected by Ethernet to the wall.
But I knew in my heart of hearts that to achieve that feeling of connection, by having doctors and patients sit face to face, and the feeling of attentiveness, by having patients in the centre of the room, that we had to find a way to get rid of that desk. Most people don’t know this, but we went out and purchased a surface pro tablet, set up a dummy server at home and a test environment of the medical software and Paul tinkered with it for hours on end until he got it working. That was a very emotional moment for us, because we knew right then that our whole concept was possible. Four years on, and we are still the only medical centre in all of Australia to have the whole team working through wireless tablets.
Growing pains and triumphs
As most small business owners would understand, we have had some incredible highs, but also some very deep lows. I won’t go into too much into detail, but the pain of business and people coming and going can sometimes be so sharp. It can also be very tiring. There were months where Paul consulted 6 days in a row and we would then spend Sunday catching up on business management. We even had to cancel our honeymoon at one point. Thankfully, a few weeks prior, we were able to arrange cover.
Since opening our doors we have achieved things I didn’t even know we would need to achieve. I now have a kick-ass system for interviewing and hiring, have taught myself how to create digital document automations that save me hours for on-boarding, and I’ve even become pretty efficient at video editing. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. We also have 250+ written systems that specify nearly everything that every team member needs to follow to deliver our signature, personalised and high quality healthcare experience. We’ve even been showcased on channel ten news, channel 7 Sunrise and 3aw.
We’re still working out our next moves – but we have this massive dream goal of some day having 100 HealthMints around Australia delivering the highest quality care, the best patient experiences, constantly innovating and shining a light on just how great healthcare delivery can really be. We want to create a future where the next generation is never afraid of going to the doctor. Where people feel confident that there are clinics nearby where they will be heard, taken seriously and know that their health is in good hands.
Being the change
I’ve been lucky, I’ve got an amazing family GP who I trust and who is there for me. Most of my friends and the people I know don’t have that. A few days ago my brother in law told me he can’t even remember the name of the GP he was seeing. We’ve got to change this. Our population is living longer, and there will be more and more elderly people. No workforce is better placed to keep us well and keep us out of hospital than our first line of defense – GPs. But with little true competition and the rise of bulk billing, the General practice industry has become a numbers game. Less money from Medicare relative to inflation + more patients per hour = we can keep going. This has created a conveyor belt of commoditised care (where people are just numbers) in many circumstances.
You’ve got to wonder how much a place cares about you when they put out an old plastic chair, ugly carpet, neon lights and a 50 minute wait time as your greeting. But Paul and I, and now the team beside us, believe that we can change this.
HealthMint isn’t just a business started by 2 young and somewhat naive dreamers anymore. Now it’s a movement, with nurses, concierge, doctors, psychologists and other practitioners who all believe that by looking at healthcare from a different perspective, we can make things so much better than they are, and help thousands of people reach their potential.
Our second site is on its way, and I’m looking forward to seeing what the next 40 years brings.
P.s. if you connect with our story, please reach out to me
HealthMint Medical Centre in Cranbourne North has been nominated as a finalist for the the 2019 Casey-Cardinia Business Awards!
The awards is an annual partnership between the City of Casey and Cardinia Shire Council to recognise and celebrate the outstanding achievements and contributions of businesses and organisations in the local area.
We are in the running for the Health, Education and Well-being award, as well as in the running for the coveted Casey Cardinia Business of the Year Award!
In the four years since opening, HealthMint Medical Centre have been re-imagining the GP clinic and have succeeded in creating a space where our patients feel heard, relaxed, respected, and confident that their health is in good hands.
The famous 5 minute wait time has been splashed across the media this year and it has been a real game changer when it comes to setting the clinic apart. With the aid of state of the art technology to save time, being efficient has allowed for more time available with the clinic’s doctors, nurses, and allied health specialists.
HealthMint believes in delivering a high quality service while keeping prices affordable, and healthcare accessible to all. A proactive and preventative approach of healthcare is constantly at the forefront of the medical centre’s model, and with initiatives like free Health Check Ups for new patients and the availability of health check-lists during appointments, niche services like Iron Infusions, skin checks, and bulk billed Quick Consults, the health and wellbeing of the patients are always the priority.
The winners of the Casey Cardinia Business Awards Finalist will be announced at a Gala Dinner on Friday 18th October at the Cranbourne Racing Centre.
With excitement in the air, several of our team members will be in attendance on the night with fingers and toes crossed!
HealthMint wishes all the finalists good-luck and cannot wait to celebrate with the other local business on the night.
You can see a complete list of the wonderful finalists here:
Breast cancer is one of the most common cancers among Australian women (and men can also get breast cancer). Early detection ensures the best rate of survival, so it’s important to be aware and check your breasts regularly. October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, so it’s a great reminder to be proactive about your breasts.
Here are four important ways you can stay aware of your breast health.
1. Know your risk factors
Your risk factors determine how likely or unlikely it is that you will get breast cancer, but even people assessed as very low risk can be diagnosed with this cancer. Some factors can’t be changed. Being a woman, getting older, and having relatives with this cancer makes it more likely that you could get breast cancer.
If you have these risk factors, focus on increased awareness and reducing the risks you can control. There are simple steps that even people with a low risk of breast cancer should take. These include limiting alcohol, eating healthy foods and maintaining a healthy body weight through exercise. If it an option for you, breastfeeding for more than 12 months in total has been shown to reduce the risk of breast cancer. No matter how low your risk, it still pays to check yourself regularly.
2. Have mammograms (where appropriate)
While many people think of mammograms as the best way to detect breast cancer, that isn’t true for everyone. Mammograms are not very effective in women younger than 40, and women who are older than 70 need to discuss their options with their doctor.
Breasts gradually become less dense as women get older, which makes the early signs of breast cancer easier to see. The ideal age group for mammograms is from 50 – 70. In Australia, women aged 40 and older are offered a free mammogram every 2 years. Your doctor can help you decide if mammograms are right for you.
3. Check yourself
The most important thing you can do to catch breast cancer early is to become familiar with the shape and feel of your breasts. There are many techniques available, but as long as you visually and physically inspect your breasts you should be able to notice changes.
Some things you might look out for are lumps or lumpiness (especially only on one side), a change to the nipple including discharge, crusting, redness or if your nipple inverts, skin changes (for example, becoming red or dimpling), a pain that doesn’t go away, or a change to your breasts’ size or shape.
4. Talk to your doctor
Nine out of ten breast changes are normal and not due to breast cancer, but you should check with your doctor to be sure. Remember that early detection has a large impact on survival rates. 89 out of every 100 women diagnosed with invasive breast cancer survive five or more years beyond diagnosis, and the survival rates in Australia are continuing to improve. See your GP if you have any concerns or notice any changes to your breasts, and make sure you and your loved ones stay breast aware.
HealthMint Medical Centre’s Vision for the Future of Healthcare
It has been such a busy 2 months for us, but we are starting to find our feet and would like to take this opportunity to thank you all for your ongoing support through this exciting time.
In saying that, our team would like to welcome our readers to HealthMint Medical Centre!
We will be updating this blog as often as we can with important news, health issues, updates around the clinic and anything else we feel should be mentioned. If you have any suggestions, feedback or would like us to include something in particular, please get in contact with us via our Contact Us page or Facebook. We’d love to hear from you.
So what is HealthMint, and what is our vision?
For the past year, Co-Founders Dr Paul Tescher and Chantelle Brott have been working hard to piece together every little aspect of this space to really present you with the complete image of HealthMint, and who we aim to be. We really couldn’t be any prouder of how it has all come together. Our vision for HealthMint is founded on the principle that healthcare can and should be better.
We believe that affordable high quality healthcare should be accessible to everyone. We believe in asking questions, listening to what you have to say and really providing a service to you that everyone should expect and receive when visiting their local GP.
We wanted to create an atmosphere where you feel relaxed upon entering. We all know how run down we can feel from illness, injuries and the stress of every day life. We have used calming, neutral colours, while also adding plants and beautiful art pieces to our architecturally designed centre to really maximise the comfort of your visit.
Our relaxing interior is teamed up with the latest technology to ensure your family’s health and wellbeing is always up to date. We offer online appointment bookings and an iPad check-in bar upon arrival. These work together to make your visit just that little bit easier, and mean you won’t need to wait in a long queue! If you prefer traditional methods, we also have lovely reception staff on hand to assist you with anything you may need.
All these elements were carefully thought through, to provide you with a comfortable, relaxing and peaceful visit while our doctors focus on empowering you with knowledge of your health issues.
We are so grateful to all the families who have visited us so far, and love hearing feedback of your experience here. If we haven’t met you yet, we are looking forward to seeing you in the near future!
We think you will really enjoy the space and experience we have created for you, and this is only just the beginning.
Check out our mobile app!
HealthMint Medical Centre is proud to announce our beautiful new mobile app!
With this app you can now book appointments on the go, check yourself in when you arrive, and view all of our information and latest news. We are introducing this feature to provide you with more convenience and make our services more accessible. We hope you love it!