Continuing Education Brief

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More than at any point in history, technology is changing rapidly, and often for the better. The smartphone is barely a decade old and hundreds of millions of us use it every day to connect with the world around us. Netflix moved away from its old business model as a mail-order DVD service and embraced streaming, becoming one of the world’s largest media companies in the process.

Consumers are driving technological innovation because they are faster to adopt new products and services. As a result, it’s not uncommon for businesses, entities traditionally very slow to change their way of doing things, to fall even further behind the technological curve.

The veterinary industry is very quick to implement new medical technologies - to have everything they can at their disposal in order to treat their patients - but this is not the case with administrative technology. Many clinics do not use - or are using incorrect - veterinary management software, resulting in low efficiency, lessened morale, and lost profits.

The veterinary industry is very quick to implement new medical technologies - to have everything they can at their disposal in order to treat their patients - but this is not the case with administrative technology. Many clinics do not use - or are using incorrect - veterinary management software, resulting in low efficiency, lessened morale, and lost profits.

This lack of implementation is not the result of apathy, of not wanting to perform at the highest possible level; it is often due to lack of knowledge regarding information technology (IT) and information management (IM) infrastructure. IT infrastructure, for example, can be difficult to understand and implement, resistant to change, and expensive, which seems so antithetical to the nature of business that many are unwilling to give it a second thought despite its advantages.

Dr. Ivan Zak, President of Smart Flow, and Shawn WIlkie, President of Dragon Veterinary, have over thirty years of combined experience in IT and IM in the veterinary medical space. Their upcoming interactive session, “10 Questions You Should Ask Before Buying Your Next Practice Management Software”, aims to explore the fundamentals of IT and IM, preparing veterinary professionals to make informed decisions about their own IT and IM needs, and help lay the groundwork for the adoption of vet management software.

There are five main components within IM that drive a practice: hardware (IT infrastructure), software, methodology, processes, and people. Each of these components is reliant on all of the others, such that if one were taken way, the whole system would cease to work. Practice Management Software, or PMS, is the element which brings software, methodology, and processes together, and is thus a key component of any modern veterinary practice.

When you’re looking to get started with a PMS, you’ll want to find one that fits seamlessly into your existing practice - if you need to force your practice to fit around a PMS, it is not the right one for you. It should be also designed for the modern day: cloud architecture and the ability to integrate with other platforms are a must.

Choosing a PMS will always be subjective, and none of them are perfect - there is no universal “best”. There is only the best PMS for your specific veterinary practice, and “10 Questions You Should Ask Before Buying Your Next Practice Management Software” will help you determine your own methodology and hierarchy of importance to find the right PMS for you.