Step up your software

Work smarter, not harder, with these tips and tricks to kick it up a notch with your veterinary practice management software.
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Aug 01, 2012
By dvm360.com staff

It’s designed to make your life easier. And many popular programs tackle everything from scheduling and billing to daily treatments and patient care, says Ciera Miller, CVT, a Firstline Editorial Advisory Board member and a technician at Metzger Animal Hospital in State College, Pa.

“Our practice uses every aspect of our software to help with our team members’ daily work tasks,” she says. “These programs can even link each medication and product with inventory and each medical case with a treatment plan.”

Her advice for team members: Keep an open mind about new technology in your practice and embrace your software program and the value it can bring to your workplace. While it may mean adjusting the routines your practice has followed for a while, you’ll find many benefits as you explore your new software.

“These programs aren’t meant to be black and white, but instead to be tailored to each hospital’s individual needs,” Miller says. “You may need to tweak elements to make the most of these programs and help them fit your practice’s structure. Or you can simply use the software to fill the holes in your practice’s current system. The possibilities are endless.”

How-to tip: Pick your trends

Your veterinary software offers a wealth of data if you’re willing to go mining for it, says Firstline Editorial Advisory Board member Kyle Palmer, CVT, the practice manager at Silver Creek Animal Clinic in Silverton, Ore. He suggests using your software to identify this data:

1. Service and industry trends, such as tracking flea, tick, and heartworm products. “In our area, we’re constantly keeping an eye on the retail outlets that chip away at our market share,” Palmer says. “We’ve also made changes in our product line, and this helps us track the response.” He says he’s able to track shifts in topical flea products for cats—typically a bestseller—and watch for declines.

2. Categories of clients who may be more interested in specific products or services. Palmer uses the software for targeted marketing—for example, people with more than one cat who might be interested in discounts and special offers on preventives.

3. Patients that have—or haven’t—undergone a particular procedure. For example, Palmer can run a report for dogs and cats older than 7 months that haven’t been altered. “We also target patients with dental histories and encourage clients to bring their pets in for regular, free teeth assessments,” Palmer says. “It’s easier to convert an exam into a procedure when the patient has a history of that procedure.”