The use of technology in veterinary practices is expanding rapidly. In general, our industry remains stuck in a time warp while technology and consumer attitudes advance. With the rise of Millennial and Xennial pet parents, technology adoption is more important than ever. The battle that still rages in many practices is whether to go paperless or paper lite. However, some more tech-savvy practices are battling the server vs. cloud-based software debate. Our clients are demanding more technology every day, and they may become unreachable if we stay in the time warp.
Reminders, texting, and telemedicine, oh my! How can the practice grow if we don’t stay ahead?
Practice Management Systems
In the past, there were a limited number of veterinary software options. It is now a booming industry, and the number of platforms to choose from is constantly growing. Ultimately, there is no one right choice. Like recommending a dog food, most people will simply suggest well-known industry names. But the real question is, “What works best for your practice, and what fits in your current workflow?”
You can choose from many different types of practice management systems. The main feature that defines practice management systems is whether it’s server-based or cloud-based. Cloud-based systems have many advantages, but they are relatively new and are paid for by subscription, which make change-adverse teams more hesitant. On the flip side, cloud-based systems do not come with high upfront costs and are generally more user friendly.
Reminders and confirmations
This debate has been a hot topic for many years: What is the best practice for sending reminders? Do you use your staff, the largest expense in your practice, to print postcards and make time-consuming phone calls? Or do you utilize today’s technology to engage with clients? Tools like client-facing smartphone apps, text messaging, and emails make it more convenient than ever for clients to connect with your practice. To maximize the return on your investment for your client experience, have your staff focus on fostering good client experience inside the clinic and utilize technology to bring the same attention to your clients’ experience outside your facility. How many hours of hard labor could be saved by automating reminders and scheduling appointments?
Telemedicine used to be a concept of the future, but that is not the case anymore. The future is now, and telemedicine has come. As technology helps with the day-to-day in your practice, let us not lose the battle over telemedicine. Many of the benefits that telemedicine can provide are already happening in your practice. For example, do you ask for videos or pictures from pet parents when they come in for a sick visit? Do you consult your clients over the phone? Technically, these are forms of telemedicine. So, let’s keep our minds open to using other tools like after-hours triage or video consulting.
Let’s Embrace the Change
There are too many battles in this industry against technology. As an industry, let’s grab the bull by the horns and embrace this new wave of technology. Veterinary practices will continue to transform with or without us. By giving clients control over the ways that they can access us, we will continue to keep them loyal.
Many of us entered this industry with a passion to heal, help, and educate. Technology provides the ability to do that on a larger scale. How can your practice embrace technology?
Ron Sosa – General Operations Manager
Ron is in charge of creating great client experiences for 3 veterinary practices: Mesa Northeast Animal Hospital, Noe’s Ark Animal Hospital, and Bark Avenue Animal Hospital. His emphasis on technology and data has helped his teams effectively connect with new and existing clients. With his customer success expertise, Ron took part in a New York Vet session with Ann Sprys and Jed Rogers, DVM. They spoke about how a more proactive approach can help set your clients up for success.