A veterinary practice must be ever-changing if it’s going to keep pace with client expectations. This applies to both medical technology – which must include, at the very least, the basics of an in-house laboratory and digital radiology for medical and dental services – and client communications, as well.
Computerized record keeping has become the new normal with regard to client communications. While paper records do still exist in several practices, they have ultimately become impractical due to the high risk of loss, the required storage space, the time it takes to keep them up-to-date, and their tendency to fade over time.
These basic tenants of veterinary practice technology are now regarded as necessary to meet the basic standards of care, should you or one of your practitioners ever become involved in a licensing board complaint or a malpractice lawsuit.
Standards of Care for Veterinary Practices
The “standards of care” for a general veterinary practice are set by the community of veterinarians within a geographical area, who service similar demographics and hold similar business hours.
Given how the standards are set, it is easy to understand why it is important to keep abreast of what tech is available and “trending” in the community of veterinary practices where you do business.
The New Basics
With regard to client services technology, the following items are now becoming the standard of care unilaterally. Is your practice offering…
- Basic online services, such as a website or app, that allows clients to make appointments and check their pet’s medical records (including baseline data, labs, vaccination records, etc.)?
- A basic online pharmacy service where pet owners can order refills for medications, prescription dog foods, and obtain other basics?
- The ability for pet owners to monitor the status of their pet’s hospitalization, including surgical procedures and recovery reports, either via app or text message?
If not, you may need to update your business practices accordingly.
Additionally, veterinary practice owners should be paying attention to the medical trends in their community. If, for example, laser therapy has become the norm across similar practices in your community, then it would behoove you to meet that standard as well – or at least explore the option, and adjust as needed.
If you are considering selling your veterinary practice, it is vitally important that you ensure your business is equipped with these client-service basics – after all, wouldn’t you expect the same from a veterinary practice you were looking to buy?
If you have questions regarding your veterinary practice’s client services technology – or if you’re looking to buy a veterinary practice and would like an assessment of the technology assets a viable practice should have – please call your local Total Practice Solutions Group office for help.
Total Practice Solutions NW Region
Karl Salzsieder, DVM, JD, CVA Veterinarian, Attorney, Certified Valuation Analyst
Salzsieder Legal Services, PLLC
Salzsieder & Associates, TPSG, LLC for Total Practice Solutions
1133 14th Ave. Ste 200
Longview, WA 98632
360 577 8115
Rex Salzsieder, CVA, Real Estate Broker