In the last post, I opened up the floor for a discussion about the current state of your practice’s software, as well as the nature of veterinary software in 2016. Today, as we briefly discuss what services should be considered standard features of your veterinary practice software, let’s take a second to frame this discussion in its larger context. I think we can all agree that the current state of technology and software has progressed far beyond its counterparts of ten years ago; even five years ago! As technology continues its ceaseless march forward, our expectations for what that technology can provide should progress as well. What I mean by this is that, in 2016, you should expect more of your technology and software than you did in 2005 or 2010. Services that were once considered new or extra features five years ago should now be expected as standard features. Think of your software like a home: many years ago, certain appliances like refrigerators might have been considered luxuries. Nowadays, we consider such things to be standard features.
Hopefully, that analogy made things a little more clear as we move forward with this discussion. At the end of the day, I want you to feel comfortable and self-assured in knowing that you should expect more from your software; however, having said that, what specific features and services should you expect to come standard with your software? While you may have your own answer to this question, I’ve compiled a list below of some major software features that should be included in your practice’s software. So, take your time, read through the list, and see if what you believe should be standard features and services matches up. Remember, it’s never out of the question to demand more from your veterinary software, particularly in 2016.
Your software should have a calendar system that allows you total control over daily scheduling and appointments of all kinds. This calendar system should give you the ability to customize scheduling to fit the size and needs of your practice, including different sections for techs and doctors, as well as easy access to patient records and the ability to check-in/out patients.
You should have access to a system of patients’ files and records for each and every patient. This database should also allow you to add doctors notes for exams and surgeries at any time, as well as general communication notes. This database should also have a built in tracker for due dates on vaccinations, procedure reminders, medications, etc. Lab work and previous medical history should also be available as attachments to patient files, so that a complete and wholistic file is created for each and every patient.
Even if your practice does not offer boarding as a service, your software should, as a standard feature, offer a boarding module or calendar that gives you complete control over your practice’s boarding schedule. You should be able to make reservations for any given day, as well as see drop off and pick up dates for each pet.
Your software should include the ability to automatically keep track of due dates for a variety of services invoiced to the patient via the patient records (as well as the ability to manually add reminders for patients if need be). Would also be able to easily send reminders to clients through these reminders via email or even printable postcard.
As far as invoicing features, your software should be able to easily create invoices without having to navigate different pages to do so. All your services and products should be accessible to search and select right there on the invoice, as well as the ability to add bundles of products and services for quicker invoicing. You should also be able to access a variety of payment methods without having to leave the invoice. If there is an existing balance or credit for that client’s account, it should be visible on the same page as well. Nowadays, invoicing should be a one-stop, streamlined process.
Your software should include the ability to add and edit certificates that fit the size, scope, and needs of your practice.