Veterinary services are surging due to rise in animal rescue centers and adoption rates across the country. Aspects such as rise in pet owners in the US, along with an increase in animal health expenditures are driving vets to opt for veterinary practice management software solutions.
According to a report, the US veterinary software market is expected to garner a CAGR of 8.2 percent from 2022-2030 timeframe. Practice management software is accounted for biggest revenue share due to its growing demand from vets.
Veterinary practice management software is designed to help veterinary practitioners in resource management, inventory tracking, billing, and much more.
Major Benefits of Veterinary Practice Management Software
1. Streamlined Administrative Operations
Admin staff are faced with the challenge of keeping tabs on HR management, communication, billing and finance, overall management, and regulations. With practice management software, staff in each department, including veterinary practitioners can track and manage tasks electronically.
Access rights are given to each staff member to handle the assigned work. Further, practice management software helps to optimize appointment bookings for vets, giving patients the opportunity to choose their preferred slots.
In a veterinary facility or clinic where hundreds of animals pay a visit, its hard to maintain their profiles manually. Hence, a veterinary practice management software helps to keep records of all animals, which includes unique ID, contact details of pet owners, medication, surgeries, etc.
2. Boost User Engagement
Veterinary practice management software boosts user engagement by including self-scheduling feature to book appointments. This eliminates long ques and busy phone lines.
Communication is one of the key methods to keep consumers/users engaged all the time and to develop a robust consumer-provider relationship. With mobile communication – texting, mails, or calling, pet owners can reach out to vets for queries or quick treatment tips. Ease-of-access to communication decreases chances of cancellations or no-shows.
Consider incorporating links that directs users to Whatsapp messaging or mails to bolster interactivity.
3. Centralized Data Storage
A veterinary practice management software powered by cloud storage is accessible on any device that has a network connection. Vets can access medical records through any device and provide care remotely to animals.
A cloud-based storage is less expensive as compared to a server-based solution, as purchase of cooling equipment, hardware, or servers isn’t needed.
A cloud-based solution adds on to the scalability of practice management software, as its easy to integrate new features as veterinary practice grows. Additionally, cloud-based software can be integrated with other healthcare-cloud and business solutions, and this approach improves interoperability.
Vital Features of Veterinary Practice Management Software
Integration of EMR (Electronic Medical Records) feature in a veterinary practice management software, promotes clinics’ efficiency and interoperability. An integrated system allows transfer of accurate information which is helpful for claims processing.
Claims is one aspect of healthcare that needs accurate and meticulous information for it to be accepted. Errors in claims results in its rejection, but with practice management software this issue can be overcome. Moreover, staff can get hold of records on medical and claims through EMR without bothering vets.
Further, vets can easily get a review of their financial side, along with medical records at any time, giving them a peace of mind.
2. Reminders and alerts
This feature helps to schedule push notifications and updated reminders, which are sent to users/consumers. Personalized reminders through mails or texts is a great way to build relations with users and engage them.
Further, reminders are quite useful for sending updates of lab results, upcoming clinic appointments, overdue payments, vaccinations, follow-ups, etc. Cancellations and no-shows are prevented by sending out alerts and reminders to pet owners.
3. Billing and Finance
Ensure efficient billing process with veterinary practice management software. Vets can check for insurance, collect payments, and manage accounts through this software. Staff can carryout a quick coverage scan and accept credit cards at the front desk.
Assure to include a robust firewall system for protecting billing and credit card data. Further, a practice management software supports integration of varied payment methods and adds products/service availed by pet owners to the invoice.
4. Reporting and Analytics
Powerful insights gained from financial areas, users, and management faculty ensures better decision making and clinical performance, for improved outcomes.
Analytics harnesses current and past data to spot fatal diseases (in any) in animals or pets. This helps to promote quality of care and mortality rates in animals.
5. Appointment Scheduling
The traditional method of appointment scheduling was slow and cumbersome, but today users can book appointments from their phones. This makes it easier for vets to handle their daily routine and make room for more bookings in case of no-shows or cancellations.
Online scheduling through veterinary practice management software allows for 24 hours access to booking, at a much lesser cost than hiring staff to reply to queries outside working hours. This feature ensures centralized database for effective management, and a security system to safeguard crucial user information.
Veterinary Practice Management Software Development
1. Locating an Expert
Expert software development company brings with it experience and domain knowledge, that impacts the overall development process. Along with this, other aspects which are essential while locating an expert software development company/developers are –
a. Awareness of professional ethics
b. Sound decision making capabilities
c. In-depth know-how on programming and software development
d. Familiarity with coding scalable apps and hosting platforms
e. Open to collaborate
2. Setting Up Compliance
HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) and HITECH (Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health) are mandatory compliance regulations to be implemented while developing any health related software, application, or website.
HIPAA compliance can be used for veterinary practice management software development for safeguarding critical medical data of animals and their owners.
Compliance ensures –
a. Safety from potential data breaches
b. Risk mitigation
c. Training of all staff (medical and non-medical) on HIPAA compliance for better safety standards.
d. Implementation of three safeguards – physical, administrative, and technical.
Lack of HIPAA compliance results in penalties and charges which go up to $50,000 for data breaches. Data encryption is a way to avert breaches and cyber attacks, and keep all medical records safe.
Read our complete guide on HIPAA compliance for more information.
The top features to be included in a veterinary practice management software is stated above. However, these features aren’t limited and are subject to change as per needs and market fluctuations. Integration of features automates and speeds up tasks, thus creating an optimized workflow.
Through EMR/EHR, there’s hardly room for errors in medical documents, and they are stored digitally. This protects documents from damage through floods, fire, or any natural calamity. In a nutshell, features enhance the overall operation and function of a software.
4. Product Development
This phase entails the actual manufacture and design of the software product. The development process commences with the creation of a prototype that facilitates testing. Prototype helps to determine bugs and any iterations needed before building the final version of software.
Programming and coding phase is split into varied sub-sections, right from the use of methodology (DevOps, agile, or waterfall) to conducting sprints and testing the product.
5. Testing and Maintenance
The last of the development process, but an essential one. Software testing of the final product makes it ready to launch in the market for users. It helps to modify software if required and give a final check to the functioning of the software.
Maintenance part comes after the launch as it involves updating software as per user requirements. This also includes adding new features to stay ahead in the competition and to attract new users.
This was all about veterinary practice management software development!
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