A cloud based veterinary practice management software helps vets to save all of the patient records with ease. These records can be remotely accessed from anywhere as they are saved on the cloud (remote servers).
With this software, vets can manage medical records (EMR), make new appointments and see the exiting ones. There are a lot of communication tools as well which makes veterinary practice management easier.
What’s in store for cloud based veterinary practice management software?
(A version of this article appeared in the January, 2020 issue of Veterinary Practice News.)
It’s really hard to predict the future. Back in the 1990s, plenty of industry experts questioned whether the Internet would last, or whether it would be quickly replaced (much like 8-track tapes were replaced by cassettes, and GPS systems were replaced by smartphones).
Those who believed the Internet was here to stay, were right. Today we have more than 50 cloud-based practice management systems and apps in the veterinary market, and we all use cloud services every day. Cloud software gives us accessibility, flexibility, affordability, and convenience. Cloud applications are also more secure because constant, automatic updates provide up-to-date protection.
But, even with this flexibility and accessibility, are today’s veterinary practice management software platforms fulfilling the true promise of the cloud? They store our data, but they don’t connect with and share information with other web-based systems. So where do we go from here?
Inspiration from other industries
If we want cloud-based practice management software to improve, the fastest way to get there is to borrow ideas and inspiration from other industries. The human medical market, for example, is more than three times the size of the veterinary market, so there’s more resources to invest in technology research and development. If we can borrow ideas and modify as needed to fit the veterinary market, we can get where we want to go … faster.
Wouldn’t it be great if …
You could manage all aspects of your business, right from your software?
Today, veterinary practices have to log in to disparate systems to handle payroll, marketing, inventory orders, human resources, finance – even paying bills from an online bank. All those steps take extra time. They involve leaving your practice management software and going elsewhere to complete tasks.
In the future, cloud solutions will be able to seamlessly exchange data with other systems and become a true data hub. So practitioners can get most everything done from right in their software system.
Wouldn’t it be great if …
Your software could help you diagnose medical issues?
Today, practice management software stores medical data in the electronic medical record, but veterinarians need to provide the diagnoses and treatment plans. In most cases, that’s pretty straightforward. But what about the specialty cases or difficult problems? Ones you haven’t seen before – or haven’t seen in a long time?
In the future, software will prompt you to research other topics based on the contents of the medial record and SOAP. That’s happening today in the fields of cancer research and human healthcare. If software is connected to a network of the latest industry research and case studies, it can help point you to the most relevant cases to help with your diagnosis.
This type of cloud functionality would never take the place of the veterinarian … but it could help to improve overall speed to diagnosis and quality of care.
Wouldn’t it be great if …
Your software could provide a better retail experience?
Today, the front desk is a very busy place. Staff members are busy checking patients in, checking clients out, scheduling appointments, rescheduling appointments, and trying to fit in appointment confirmations for the next day. Yet it’s also the most important part of the practice. It’s the first and last impression that clients have.
What if practice management software could help provide a better retail experience in the veterinary clinic? In the future, software will help streamline tasks more efficiently so the front desk can be a more welcoming place. Personal greetings, more client interaction, advance online check-in, and check-out via mobile device are just a few examples of how the retail experience within a veterinary clinic can be enhanced … inspired by other retailers.
Wouldn’t it be great if …
Marketing could be automated through your software?
Today, staff members pull data from their software to develop marketing lists, create reminders and campaigns, and deploy them. Sometimes they send the data to other providers to send marketing campaigns for them. But what if we could create a more automated process?
In the future, practice management software will help automate practice marketing. This is happening today in the marketing industry. Marketing automation and artificial intelligence tools can send marketing messages to customers and prospects based on their behavior or other criteria. Can’t our cloud software do the same by predicting what type of marketing our clients and patients should receive based on the breed, age, and health history of the patient?
That frees up veterinary staff members to focus on practicing better medicine, while automated marketing happens in the background to support it.
Wouldn’t it be great if …
Your software could anticipate your inventory needs?
Today, staff members manage inventory based on quantities on-hand … or the “eyeball” method. If something looks low, it must be time to order more. Sure, many cloud platforms have inventory management features. But data input and inventory ordering still requires manual effort from staff members.
In the future, software will anticipate inventory needs based upon upcoming procedures scheduled in the appointment calendar and prompt staff members to order supplies for just-in-time delivery. This is how inventory is managed in other industries such as manufacturing, because companies know that inventory management is critical for cash management. Too much inventory sitting on the shelf ties up cash and risks spoilage. Too little inventory can mean missed opportunities in product sales and procedures.
Future cloud-based software systems can view your appointment calendar and note the upcoming procedures and surgeries, compare supplies needed with what’s on hand, notify you if you are low on certain supplies, order those supplies, and check them in when they arrive. This gives veterinary practices tighter control over medical supplies … and cash.
Practice without boundaries
This type of cloud-based functionality is not available … yet. But these ideas represent the kind of thinking that comes from looking to other industries for inspiration and shortening the software development curve in the veterinary industry.
In order to accommodate this functionality tomorrow, we’re building the NaVetor cloud software platform today using advanced technology that can accommodate these workflow enhancements. It’s our goal to help veterinarians practice medicine without boundaries.
Things You Can Do Faster in Cloud Based Vet Software
What are the critical elements to running a successful veterinary practice? Obviously great patient care, a great customer experience, and profitability.
But what about speed and efficiency? While they may not contribute directly to the quality of patient care, they do contribute to both profitability and a great customer experience. Saving time each day means that more work can be accomplished, and efficiently moving customers through the practice creates a more positive experience.
Busy veterinary practices have a lot going on. Every day. We believe practice management software should speed things up, not slow things down. That’s why we built NaVetor with speed and efficiency in mind, based on the most natural, intuitive workflows in a veterinary practice.
Here are five examples of things you can do faster in NaVetor compared with other veterinary software programs.
Complete the electronic medical record during appointments.
When it comes to veterinary cloud based software ,electronic medical records are great for many reasons, but they can be cumbersome to complete, especially for slow typists. NaVetor contains easy-to-use templates for routine checkups and common conditions, which speeds up the medical record process and the appointment itself. These templates are based on the Subjective-Objective-Assessment-Plan (SOAP) process, so they follow the same flow that you’re used to using during appointments. Many of these common templates are pre-built in NaVetor, ready to use right out of the gate. But, veterinarians can also easily create their own templates for certain procedures.
NaVetor’s templates are really helpful during patient visits, but they also speed up reporting. One major limitation of most cloud based veterinary software programs is that clinical data is entered into medical records inconsistently, making it difficult to run reports on frequency of common conditions, prescriptions, and other health-related metrics.
NaVetor’s templates ensure that clinical data is entered consistently, so data across the practice can be pulled and evaluated quickly and easily, from the quantity of medications prescribed during a given period to overall profitability reports. Data for all reports can be exported to Excel for further analysis.
Find a client or patient.
Ever need to look up a client or patient in a pinch? NaVetor’s search capabilities make that quick and easy. The search bar is located at the top, as part of the header, so you’ll have access to it on each screen within the software, whether you’re in the medical record, appointment scheduler, whiteboard, etc. And once you search by owner or patient, all associated owners will appear. That helps you find what you need … fast … even in situations where patients have multiple owners tied to their file.
Reschedule appointments in a pinch.
When a provider calls in sick, it usually wreaks havoc on the schedule for the day. Clients need to be rescheduled and tasks need to be re-assigned.
NaVetor helps mitigate some of this chaos through the Affected Appointments feature. If a provider can’t make it in that day, staff members can easily block off the day for that provider and then click “Affected Appointments.” All clients who were scheduled during that time block will pop up on one handy screen, so staff members can quickly call down the list and reschedule each client.
Track patient activity.
Many software platforms today have some sort of patient tracking tool, allowing staff members to see at-a-glance status, location, and appointment details of all checked-in patients. That’s a great time-saver and efficiency-booster for practice staff, but NaVetor’s tracking tool, called a whiteboard, goes one step further.
NaVetor’s whiteboard contains a client-friendly view that can be projected into your waiting room, so clients can also see the status of their pets. That not only gives a boost to the client experience, but it also saves time for staff because they don’t have to field questions from clients about the status of patients.
When speed and efficiency go up, profitability and client satisfaction follow. That means a less stressful environment for veterinarians and their staff.
How Secure Is the Cloud Based Veterinary software?
When clinics begin exploring veterinary cloud software, one of the first questions they ask is whether a cloud software platform is secure. It’s understandable … headlines on data breaches, ransoms, and other hack tactics seem to happen more and more. When veterinarians are charged with protecting sensitive client and patient data, the idea of storing clinic data in the cloud can seem risky.Here are some of the most common questions we receive, with answers from our technology experts.
When it comes to best cloud based veterinary management software, it really depends on the type of server used by your software provider to host the cloud software program and the data from each user. The team behind NaVetor takes security very seriously, so we use Microsoft Azure server technology, which is extremely secure.
In fact, it’s so secure that government agencies use Azure to host their data. Microsoft is constantly updating the security of its server solutions, and as a result, it has become the gold standard in security.
NaVetor users can rest assured that their data is secured well.
Data protection in cloud based veterinary practice management software
Sometimes it can be helpful to visualize how your practice data is stored in the cloud. Picture a secure area – like the inside of a maximum security facility. That facility is protected by steel walls and an electric fence just outside the walls. Perpetrators would need to disable and clear the electric fence first, and if they did that, then they would need to figure out how to penetrate thick, steel walls. It’s not easy.
Those represent the types of security measures around the server that stores your information.
Next, picture several individual steel vaults inside that maximum security area. Those vaults represent the security measures around your practice data, and the data from other veterinary practices that also use the same software solution. If a perpetrator were able to penetrate the electric fence and the steel exterior walls, he would then need to break through a highly secure vault to obtain your data.
That’s also not easy to do. One could argue that it might be easier for a thief to break into your practice and steal your local server and computers, than to break into a maximum security server.
One of the great advantages of a cloud-based practice management system like NaVetor is that all your data is centralized and consistently formatted. This allows you to create reports that give everyone in your practice better insight into relevant data, whether it’s an individual patient’s record or the overall financial health of the business. Not only that, but cloud servers perform regular backups – unlike some practices. Lost or accidentally deleted files often can be restored, even if a specific device fails.
Not having your data exist only in your office is, in fact, a benefit of using a cloud-based system. Data stored off premises can’t be lost or stolen if anything happens to your physical facility.
What about others accessing my data? Like my software provider?
At Patterson, we firmly believe that the data in your software belongs to YOU. We do not share your data with anyone else without your consent.
Can a cloud software go down?
That’s a question that is best answered by individual veterinary practices, as Internet and electricity quality and access can vary between locations around the U.S.
How reliable is the Internet where you live and work? That’s a good indicator on how successful a cloud software product will be for your practice. Internet capability and reliability has increased significantly since even a couple of years ago, so chances are that most clinics will have reliable Internet, and therefore reliable cloud software, 99 percent of the time.
Security and data breaches are hot topics, and it’s important to make sure a practice’s data is secure. But reputable cloud software platforms like NaVetor have significant security measures in place to make sure your data is kept as safe as possible.
- Software stores information
- Staff members pull data platforms
- Staff members input diagnoses
- Antiquated platforms shift to cloud
- Software analyzes information
- Software pulls in data from other
- Software aids in diagnoses
- Platforms built from the cloud up
We’re building NaVetor today using advanced technology that can accommodate the workflow enhancements of tomorrow. It’s our goal to help veterinarians practice medicine without boundaries.