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Cloud Computing for Veterinary Practices: The Tools and Services for Your Needs

By April 10, 2023February 16th, 2024No Comments

The importance of technology in veterinary practices cannot be overstated, as it’s essential for the day-to-day running of these practices and contributes immensely to streamlining operations, enhancing services, increasing revenue, and satisfying clients and patients. However, technology can also pose some challenges and risks, especially when it comes to cybersecurity.
Cybersecurity is the protection of your data and systems from unauthorized access, use, modification, or destruction. Cybersecurity is vital for any business that relies on digital information and communication, but it is especially crucial for veterinary practices that handle sensitive client and patient data.

One of the most significant technological trends that can affect your cybersecurity is cloud computing. Cloud computing is the delivery of computing services such as servers, storage, databases, software, networking, and analytics over the internet (the cloud). Cloud computing can offer many benefits for veterinary practices, such as cost savings, flexibility, mobility, security, and reliability. However, cloud computing also comes with some challenges and risks, such as data privacy, compliance, internet dependency, performance, vendor lock-in, and compatibility.

In this article, we will focus on the best tools and services for cloud computing in relation to cybersecurity for veterinary practices. We will provide you with some examples of cloud-based tools and services that can help you with various aspects of your practice, such as practice management, diagnostic imaging, telemedicine, and more, offering advice and best practices on how to choose and use cloud computing safely.



Cloud Computing Tools and Services for Veterinary Practices
Today, with the continued growth in the usage of cloud computing services in the veterinary industry, it is important to have an idea of some of the best tools that can be accessed by using cloud computing. Some of these tools include:
Electronic Medical Records (EMR): Cloud-based EMR systems allow veterinarians to easily access and manage patient records from any device with Internet access. This can improve efficiency and accuracy while also reducing the risk of lost or damaged records. Some examples of cloud-based EMR systems are Digitail, Shepherd, EzyVet and VetSpire.

2. Appointment Scheduling: Cloud-based scheduling tools enable staff to manage appointments more efficiently and provide clients with an easy way to book and modify their appointments online. Some examples of cloud-based scheduling tools are Vetstoria, Vetport and VetBadger. A lot of cloud based EMR’s or PIMs are now also including online booking via the app.

3. Data Storage and Backup: Cloud storage solutions ensure that important data, such as medical records, images, and practice management information, is securely stored and regularly backed up, preventing data loss and ensuring compliance with industry regulations. Some examples of cloud storage solutions are Google Cloud Storage, Amazon S3, Microsoft Azure Blob Storage, and Dropbox.

4. Collaboration and Communication: Cloud-based tools can facilitate communication among veterinary staff, allowing them to collaborate on patient care, share documents, and discuss cases, regardless of their physical location. Some examples of cloud-based collaboration and communication tools are Slack, Google Workspace, Microsoft Teams, and Zoom.
5. Telemedicine: Cloud computing can also support telemedicine services, allowing veterinarians to conduct virtual consultations, remotely monitor patient health, and provide care to patients who may have difficulty visiting a clinic in person. Some examples of cloud-based telemedicine tools are VetTriage, TeleVet, Petriage, PetPro Connect, and Airvet.

6. Diagnostic Imaging: Cloud-based imaging solutions enable veterinarians to securely store, access, and share diagnostic images with specialists, providing faster and more efficient consultations and treatment plans. Some examples of cloud-based imaging solutions are Vetology AI, Vet Rocket, Vet Cloud and Idexx Cloud PACs.

7. Inventory Management: Cloud-based inventory management systems can help veterinary practices track their supplies, medications, and equipment more effectively, reducing waste and ensuring that they always have the necessary items on hand. Some examples of cloud-based EMRs that have good inventory management systems are Digitail, Shepherd, and EzyVet.



How to Select the Best Cloud Computing Tool for Your Practice
As a veterinary practice, based on the list above, it is already clear that if your practice requires all the above services, then the cost might be too high to afford. That is why, despite our in-depth list showcasing the best tools in the market, we also recommend knowing how to select tools for your practice, especially when you are running on a tight budget. Below are some of the things you should consider.
Utility: When selecting cloud computing tools, it is important to determine whether a tool can be used for more than one function. For instance, in the above list, some tools can be used for collaboration and communication, data storage, and Electronic Medical Records (EMR) tools. Therefore, such a tool eliminates the need for having multiple tools sequestered all over, which can also complicate your job.
Your Budget and Resources: How much can you afford to spend on cloud computing tools and services? What are the upfront and ongoing costs involved? How much time and effort do you need to invest in training, implementation, and maintenance of cloud computing tools and services?
Your Practice’s Needs and Goals: What are the main challenges and opportunities that you want to address with cloud computing? What are the specific features and functions that you need from each tool or service? How do you measure the success and impact of cloud computing on your practice?
Your Vendor’s Reputation and Reliability: How do you evaluate the quality and performance of cloud computing tools and services? What are the reviews and ratings from other users and experts? How do you communicate and collaborate with your vendor? How do you resolve issues and get support from your vendor?
Your Security and Compliance Requirements: How do you ensure that your data and systems are protected from unauthorized access, use, modification, or destruction? What are the industry standards and regulations that you need to comply with regarding data privacy, security, and quality? How do you handle data breaches and incidents?


Now that you’re familiar with the best cloud computing tools and services for veterinary practices, we hope this information empowers you to make well-informed decisions that suit your practice’s needs and budget. By selecting the right tools and utilizing them effectively, you can enhance your practice’s efficiency, improve communication, and provide better care for your patients.

Remember to prioritize utility, consider your budget and resources, assess your practice’s needs and goals, evaluate your vendor’s reputation and reliability, and always keep security and compliance requirements in mind. With the proper implementation of these cloud computing tools, you can unlock the potential of technology to transform and elevate your veterinary practice.

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