Technology is everywhere these days, and it has had an outsized impact on our lives. Software is eating the world.
No matter where you live, the vast majority of your team uses technology in their personal lives. Today’s technology has provided convenience and increased productivity, and it has accomplished so much more for the average person.
As the current pandemic has reminded us all, we are long overdue for harnessing this power in our veterinary hospitals to help teams be more productive, organized, and confident.
And we’re not just talking about classic practice management software. There are many new and helpful places where software could be powering your hospital.
But more broadly, how do you go about choosing software for your practice? Here are a few quick tips to keep in mind.
⛅ Look for Cloud-Based Software Options
Cloud-based software offers a number of advantages:
- You can access your work from anywhere, whether you’re at the practice or on the sidelines of your child’s soccer game.
- Your client and patient data is typically secured by a team of IT and software security experts.
- With most cloud-based options, you’ll have more flexibility with payment, and you typically won’t have large upfront costs.
With accessible, secure, and up-to-date software, you’ll have increased flexibility and more time to focus on your patients. Not sure whether cloud software is right for your practice? We have a guide for you.
🏃♀️ Challenge the Software with Your Workflow
Silver bullets are only useful in vampire movies. In real life, software that works fine in one hospital may not work in yours.
So how can you tell what will work in your hospital? Talking with your team is the best place to start.
First, list out your full workflow. This may take some investigating: Be sure to ask everyone on the team about their pain points with current software or paper workflows.
Compile the most important questions and include your team’s deal breakers and top preferences in your list. If you’re not sure what to ask or what should be on your list, here are some questions to think about:
- Is it easy to enter and review information in the software?
In a fast-paced environment (like a veterinary hospital), ease of use is crucial for efficiency and accuracy.
- Does the software help reduce human error?
We’re all human—we do our best every day, but we’re still prone to error. The software you choose should help reduce mistakes, like finding missed charges on invoices or alerting doctors or nurses when a potentially unsafe dose has been ordered.
- Is the software provider available to help?
As a software engineer, I work with many kinds of software, and I prefer to work with providers who are always there to lend me a helping hand when I need it. Make sure to ask about the provider’s customer service availability, and see if you can find reviews from real customers.
During each software demo, ask each of the questions. Find out whether the software can solve your team’s pain points, adapt to your workflow, and ideally, improve it.
Just be aware of one thing in this process: No software will adapt perfectly to your workflow. We are each experts on the way we work best.
Look for software that adapts the best to your workflow. The software may change a bit, and so might your workflow. Just make sure that the team’s key pain points are solved by the new software.
And one more time: Listen closely to see if the software provider is listening to you. The best software companies ask questions, are curious, and are willing to improve based on what they are hearing from customers.
👐 Make Sure Your Team Is the Rockstar
What do I mean by this? That software shouldn’t be the most important thing in your hospital: you and your team are!
Good software should actually solve a problem for you, and be transparent, user friendly, and reliable. But it should never be the most important part of your practice.
Choose software that will augment your team to be more productive, more efficient, and more precise. Software shouldn’t bother you while you work—it should allow you to be the best you can be (and of course, give you a few superpowers).