Part 2 – Choosing practice management software: North Maclean Family Vet
The critical process of choosing practice management software
Part 2 of North Maclean Family Vet’s journey of opening a new practice.
In my previous blog, I covered a bit of the history of North Maclean Family Vet, including how we started out as a dream that two friends and I had to establish ourselves in independent, professional veterinary practice. While getting up and running was a challenging and, at times, the scary journey it has been well worth it.
We have now been operating for four months and our business is steadily growing. We feel very much a part of our community and love providing exceptional care to very important members of our local families. We genuinely consider their pets part of our family too!
Where I left off in my last blog I described how we’d put in the hard work to find a location, fit it out and build relationships with the right suppliers. The next step was selecting the right practice management solution (PMS) and supporting technology.
We all knew from our previous roles how important it was to choose the right practice management software.
Functionality and user experience important
Because we’d had experience using various practice management software solutions we had a good idea of what functionality and user experience we wanted.
Firstly, we needed an easy-to-use, straightforward software solution. This is important because our whole team needed to get up and running super-quickly. However, we also thought ahead to the day when our practice grew and we would have new staff join our team. We didn’t want them bogged down learning a complicated and time-consuming system.
Our solution of choice needed to make our daily workflow run smoothly and seamlessly. In particular, the appointment screen needed to be clear, concise and easy to read. After considering various options, we found Covetrus’ RxWorks solution the best option.
It had a very clean and straightforward interface, and because we’re able to assign different colours to different appointments, a quick glance at the monitor tells us instantly where we’re at. This, plus all the other time-saving features in RxWorks, frees us up to spend more valuable face-to-face time with our clients and patients, leading to better standards of care and a strengthened bond with them.
Navigating to clients’ and patients’ files and finding information within them is a breeze within RxWorks – it is very straightforward and logical. It also has great alerts and notifications, which is particularly handy for identifying overdue items such as vaccinations. Note-taking, invoicing, reporting and plenty of other modules with all the extras really set the Covetrus solution apart from the others.
Online bookings essential for our practice management software
We were also very clear that we wanted online bookings from the start. In this day and age, it’s essential that customers can book online any time of the day or night and also access other important information on their device of choice. The RxWorks team advised us very early on that this functionality was available with their solution, which helped confirm our decision.
Another great feature in RxWorks is the automated online ordering that has been set up with a number of our suppliers. Again, this is something which can suck up huge amounts of valuable time; we love the fact that the solution makes our ordering and receipting process so much quicker and easier. We only wish that this was available for all suppliers so 100% of our ordering could be done using this quick and easy system.
Being a large multinational company, Covetrus were able to provide us with tremendous support, including specialist staff that focus on specific aspects of the solution. This includes things like implementation, support, hardware, technical support and sales. We also enjoyed the fact that, from early on in our relationship, we were always clear on what to expect from them at each stage of our setup.
Cloud and server options available
With RxWorks, we had the choice of operating in the cloud, or through a local server. Both options were great, however, our final decision was governed by our internet service provider. Unfortunately, being in a semi-rural area where NBN isn’t currently available, we couldn’t use the cloud version of the solution.
This wasn’t a problem though, as RxWorks is still easily accessible outside of our clinic through a standard remote desktop program. This makes working from home easy and hassle-free and still allows RxWorks support staff to log in to our computers and assist us if needed.
Another strong consideration when making our final choice was that a number of large hospitals and companies use RxWorks, including our on-campus veterinary hospital at university, which gave us confidence that it is a high-quality solution.
Digital workflow plus automatic updates
Erica, Sally and I are all very environmentally conscious and share the dream of owning and running a successful paper-free clinic. RxWorks has allowed us to start this paper-free journey with minimal hassle, as it supports a fully digital workflow. It also meant we didn’t have to worry about buying bulky filing cabinets and finding somewhere to store them when we started off!
Another thing we love about RxWorks is that software updates are done regularly, so we are always up to date with the latest practice management software versions. No worrying about getting an expensive external IT expert in to run updates and backups – these updates are done automatically outside of normal business hours so they don’t interrupt our business. All updates and backups take place ‘invisibly’ and we have confidence knowing that everything is taken care of.
As a new start-up clinic, we didn’t want to spend too much. Whilst RxWorks cost more than others, the level of support we received and the useful functionality and value made it a good choice.
Come back soon to read about the next stage of our journey – going back to ‘school’!
Stay tuned for Part 3 – The Training Process. You can also follow North Maclean Family Vet here.