Put on your techie hat

Apr 01, 2006

Dust off those manuals, warm up those keyboards, and prepare to make your software sing. Rickee Miller, a veterinary assistant at Lockwillow Avenue Animal Clinic in Harrisburg, Pa., found that learning to maximize her practice's software was a great way to grow in her job. She took Lockwillow's practice management software—which the practice had been using for invoicing—and learned to leverage the program's other functions, including inventory tracking and appointment scheduling. Use these tips to stretch your practice's software:
1. Take it for a spin. When Miller's boss asked her to check out the software's inventory system, she logged on and dove right in. "I started updating inventory on the computer," Miller says. "It worked well so I kept trying other functions, such as the purchase order function."
2. Dig out the instruction manual. Miller says she used the software's manual and the help screen function on the computer to guide her as she explored.
3. Don't be afraid to ask for help. If you're not sure how to retrieve or compile the information you've entered, call the software vendor help desk. "If you've put the information in the computer, you can get it out," Miller says.
4. Take a training seminar. Miller attended an all-day training session in January to learn how to schedule appointments using the software. In February, she started testing it in the practice, and by March they were scheduling appointments exclusively on the computer.

Interested in learning to maximize your practice's software? If you're progressive and persistent, you're the perfect person for the job, Miller says. "You just need to be positive and get the rest of the staff excited about the change."