In the last few years, veterinary practice has become overly reliant on information, and practice owners are now investing in software and IT infrastructure to be competitive.
Veterinary practice management system is one example of software that has grown in popularity in the past few years. Its use has almost become a requirement for any small and medium-sized practice looking to run effectively.
What is a practice management system?
A practice management system is an everyday software that has become popular in veterinary practice for its effectiveness in managing employees’ details such as payroll and personal information, practice financial records, delegating duties to employees, and managing clients and e-medical records in a veterinary practice.
Practice management systems require an internet connection to access data and can be deployed in three ways:
Desktop deployment: This requires a system to run on a singular computer system, which only a few people have access to. Information logged into these systems are mostly stored locally on the same machine and can be backed up in other remote locations.
Client-server deployment: This type of deployment requires a practice management system to be hosted in an onsite server, where multiple users can share data and access the software. Practice owners can either purchase the full practice management system or lease it while using this type of deployment.
This is currently the most prevalent version of practice management systems. The most common are AVImark, Cornerstone and Impromed. With the Lucca Data Guard we replicate your entire server infrastructure to the Lucca cloud. Thus if your server ever fails you can immediately access your data in the Lucca Data vault. Taking your downtime from days or weeks to minutes.
Internet-based or Cloud-based software: This type of practice management system does not require practice owners to have their own servers. However, it is not hosted locally, and therefore data is mostly handled by third-party entities, and practice owners, practitioner, and clients must have an internet connection to access the system.
There are a lot of cloud based practice management systems some of the best are Rhapsody, Shepard, EzyVet & Vetter. The important thing to keep in mind is that you are now 100% reliable on the internet. You also increase your internet presence from approx 15 million web requests (for the average 3 exam room practice) to 75 million web requests per quarter. With this much exposure to the internet its important to have a great layered cyber security system in place. With the Lucca Cyber Security Suite we Lucca will make sure you’re hospital is safe as you leverage the internet to run your practice.
Important Consideration with Cloud based systems: When you go to the cloud your entire business data set in the hands of the cloud provider. It’s important to review the license agreement so that you understand:
1) How will the service provider use or leverage your data?
2) How are you able to get all of your data out of the system?
If you need any help navigating your cloud based practice management system Lucca is here to help.
Why use a Practice Management System?
The growth of practice management systems within the veterinary practice community has been largely contributed by its effectiveness in saving and retrieving data. Many veterinary practices have also opted for these systems due to:-
Its ability to save E-medical records such as X-rays, diagnosis information, dental records, and clients’ pets’ medical records.
Performing billing procedures to notify clients of pending bills, send invoices, and update clients’ credit and balances.
Submitting insurance claims after treatment. This ensures that all invoices and outstanding balances are paid by the insurance companies registered for clients.
Generating reports such as invoices, receipts and payrolls. These reports are useful during the filing of records.
Calendar appointments and scheduling are also stored in a practice management system, and clients are able to track their tickets and schedule meetings with veterinary practitioner.
Clients database that contains all the clients’ data such as contact information, medical records, calendars and schedules, appointments, medical progress and clients billings and balances.
Features of a standard practice management system
A good practice management system comes with the following features:-
Automatic electronic reminders
Clients, practice owners and practitioner are able to receive notifications reminding them of tasks such as appointments and scheduled meetings. These notifications are automatically generated from within the practice management systems and act as reminders of future events or tasks that these groups have not yet completed.
Card scanner interface
Card scanner interfaces are important when practice owners accept visas and master cards as payment methods in their practice. This ensures that payments of services are fast and are processed instantly, creating fast and effective financial processing in a practice.
Automatic billing system
A good practice management system should also generate an invoice instantly after being fed with data of the services that have been offered. This also ensures that a practice is able to run efficiently and with ease.
Customized security access
Security features in a system is an integral part and determines whether a system will fail in the future. Systems that have no safeguards are prone to being compromised, resulting to loss of data which can lead to both financial and legal problems.
Therefore, it is important for a practice management system to come suited with security systems that not only prevents unauthorized access but also ensure that users have different roles and privileges when using the system.
Electronic record system integration
All clients, practice owners and practitioner records should be savable in a practice management system. This includes payrolls, medical records, financial records and practice records such as services rendered.
A good system should also have a good backup that ensures that the system can be brought back up and running in case data is compromised.
Need help finding or migrating to a new practice management system?
Lucca offers vCIO consulting services (Chief Information Officer). vCIO is an IT leadership/management service for veterinary practices without the resources for a full-time CIO. The vCIO covers both business and technical roles. Both are strategic but technical focus on the scope of services like cyber security and IT infrastructure. The business focus is the veterinary practice achieving competitive advantage with the use digital technologies. The Lucca vCIO can help you find the right practice management system to have a competitive advantage in the veterinary marketplace.
Peace Love & Plants-
Director of Veterinary Data Security