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4 Steps to Consider Before Changing Veterinary Software

Jumping dog

Some people say, if it’s not broken, don’t touch it, if it’s working, why look for something better. If your practice is paper only, and you are just now looking into getting a practice management software, stay tuned for our next blog on how to turn a paper only clinic to paperless one in 2 months or less. If you about to jump to make a change on your veterinary software and you are not sure if the water is cold or nice and warm, read on.  Before you jump consider the following 4 points:

1. Data availability – Do you have a doctor who works after hours at the clinic just to catch up on medical notes? Are some of the medical notes missing, because they got misplaced or just are not in yet? Do you have to reach out and call each other sometimes to find out, what the diagnoses on that sick puppy were? Are you at risk with your state board of veterinary medicine?  Data in the cloud might be the answer. Let me tell you this is not only about medical notes. You can check your schedule for the next day on your laptop, tablet, or phone while at home. Busy day or light day? You might be able to make it to your kid’s football game on Thursday. Better mark it down as soon as your wife/husband reminds you this is the final game! Or, maybe you can now monitor how much overtime was logged this week, what was the most profitable procedure, most common etc. You never know what your laptop can tell you from your kitchen table. 
2. Financial resources – The best usually comes with a bigger price tag, but does it really cost more? When looking at the numbers, keep in mind the other side. How much labor cost you can save with medical notes drafted completely as part of the exam with templates where all you do is change a few words. What is the startup cost versus ongoing cost? 
3. Your needs– What are your needs? What does the practice struggle with? Which parts seem inefficient; what do you dream about?
Maybe you hope to prepare that invoice for vaccinating those 150 cows right away while you are still out on that ranch call; send automated reminders via text days ahead and get it confirmed without the receptionist even picking up the phone; be able auto-order inventory when it falls under a certain number, etc.
When you are starting, be sure to read the reviews and to reach out to other clinics. What do they use, what do they like and what do they hate. We found practices are happy to share their insights.
4. Conversion and Time  How much time are you willing to invest into conversion. Do you have people who can sit and master the software? Even the best tools are worthless if you are not using them to their full potential. Keep in mind the training time and know that the learning curve for each software differs. Some require on-site training or a mandatory number of hours or webinars. Take the transition seriously, it might change your world.
Finally, you should be aware that there are many good newer products and companies offering practice management software, outside the traditional names we are all familiar with.  And, many such products play very nicely with other management tools and even integrate seamlessly throughout the entire practice.  Think outside the box and don’t be afraid to explore the advantages of some excellent cloud-based offerings.   Best of luck to you. Let exciting things happen! 
Drop us a note and tell us, what software are you using, for how long and what you like or dislike about it. 

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