Veterinary ERs are stressful, complicated, and high-stakes environments. And they can be unforgiving from a workflow perspective. Pair the normal challenges of an ER with the challenges of a fledgling hospital, and you get Enchanted Mountains, a hospital that went live with Instinct the first weekend they were open.
We spoke with Chris White, practice manager at Enchanted Mountains to find out how it’s going and what they’ve found most helpful about Instinct. Let’s dive in!
About Enchanted Mountains 🏔
Enchanted Mountains Urgent Veterinary Care is the first practice in the Southern Tier Region of upstate New York focused on urgent care for sick and injured pets. Their weekend hours make them available to patients when family veterinarians are closed or at their busiest.
Since opening in 2022, Enchanted Mountains has seen 250 new patients a month on average, and they are the only emergency vet clinic within a 1.5-hour drive of Olean, NY. Their small but mighty staff includes Dr. Katie Gies, 3 licensed technicians, 2 assistants, 2 receptionists, and a practice manager.
“We could not have opened our clinic without Instinct.”
Dr. Geis came to upstate New York with her family, after owning and operating a franchise of Lap of Love Veterinary Hospice in South Carolina. Once established in New York, she took up the task of providing veterinary relief work services. She came across Instinct while partnering with numerous hospitals (and experiencing a wide range of veterinary software programs), and was able to pick it up immediately thanks to Instinct’s ease of use.
From the start, Dr. Geis knew she’d be bringing on Instinct EMR to Enchanted Mountains. When she saw an urgent need for emergency veterinary care in upstate New York, she was confident that Instinct would enable the daily workflows of the clinic as they set up their hospital’s functions from scratch.
A few starting team members had no background in veterinary medicine, so they were learning industry terms and abbreviations, medications, and more on the fly. Enchanted Mountains needed a platform to help the whole team quickly get up to speed running an emergency clinic.
Enchanted Mountains held their onboarding training with Instinct on the first weekend they were open.
“Simply put: We could not have opened our clinic without Instinct,” said Chris. “From our initial training and beyond, Instinct has been with us to talk through everything and answer every question in completely virtual onboarding.
“At the end of our first training day, we had a fully functioning practice management system, and receptionists who had not come from animal medicine and had never touched software like this before understood the platform.”
Related Article: How the University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine Transitioned to Instinct
Standing out with outstanding support
Before using Instinct, Chris had heard positives from his team members comparing Instinct against legacy players in the industry but didn’t know much about the platform. “Instinct has exceeded my team’s original impressions,” said Chris. “The first training weekend set the tone for everything else. Knowing that this level of service is with us all the time, we feel incredibly cared for as customers. Instinct has the most above-and-beyond service out of any other field or company I’ve ever experienced. If people knew this, every hospital would want to use Instinct.”
Enhancing patient care
On a day-to-day basis, Enchanted Mountains uses Instinct EMR to track all patients from check-in through discharge and offer safer care through Instinct’s suite of safety features.
Instinct enables their lead veterinarian, Dr. Geis, to maximize her time spent in exam rooms with pet owners so that when she needs to, she can order treatments and hand off care to her technicians, knowing they know exactly what to do.
For someone as busy and committed to treating patients as Dr. Geis, Instinct allows her to substantially streamline patient care. With Instinct, she can pin patients, quickly finish notes, and pass vitals, tests, and other procedures to other staff, as well as view complete patient medical records from anywhere. The staff at Enchanted Mountains finishes all administrative work by the end of the day or the next shift, which is a tough ask for many emergency practices.
Making business-critical decisions with Instinct
As a practice manager, Chris runs various financial, productivity, and controlled substances reports every day to make critical decisions about the business. One key decision that was heavily influenced by Instinct Analytics was whether or not to adjust their business hours. Their team had considered adding a 5th workday to the week, and shortening the rest of their workday hours to accommodate. While closing at 5pm instead of 8pm made a lot of sense initially, they discovered through Instinct Analytics that about a third of overall business was happening during that 5-8pm window!
This helped them decide to maintain their hours to better serve the demand in their community.
Instinct’s Billing & Charge Capture features have also been vital for Chris. Chris was able to use transaction summary reports to identify a huge discrepancy between money billed and money collected, allowing him to capture missed charges and collect payments on authorized bills, increasing the overall revenue of their practice.
Reducing workloads with automated record sharing
One of Chris’s favorite Instinct features is Shareville, which enables their team to automatically send records to a patient’s primary care provider, saving a ton of time for the front desk staff every day–especially when they are seeing upwards of 30 patients each day.
“The fact that we can tell customers that their primary vet will have access to all medical documents–we don’t have to think about it, and all customers have to do is check out,” said Chris. “It streamlines the care of patients and greatly decreases the stress of our staff compared to stories I’ve heard at other practices.”
In addition to streamlining referral paperwork, every user in Instinct hospitals can leverage a multitude of communication tools to get updates on a patient's status if clients call, giving their staff more agency to participate in patient care.
“Instinct is automating a lot of our daily processes that would be totally cumbersome otherwise so that we’re able to spend more time face to face with patients.”
Quick-Fire Questions with Chris White
Questions have been edited for clarity and length.
How would you describe our product to a friend or colleague?
Chris: Instinct is an easy-to-use practice management software that’s powerful, adaptable, and flexible, and we use it across all day-to-day aspects of our clinic.
What’s your favorite part of the product?
Chris: I love the wide customization options, like customizing charts and documents to ensure everyone’s asking the right questions. Or customizing sharing options so important and pertinent medical records go back to the regular vet and hospital-specific communications do not.
What would your role be like without Instinct?
Chris: I don’t even want to think about my life without Instinct. We’re learning and growing as a practice with Instinct as a huge presence: Staff training, hiring vet techs, and the existence of Instinct are enabling us to run.
What advice do you have for others considering Instinct?
Chris: (1) Go with Instinct. Our lead veterinarian says in 16 years of practice, having used every PIMs, that nothing even holds a candle to how powerful and easy-to-use Instinct is. And (2), make sure that you have someone (who is not your primary vet) who can be the internal platform owner when you switch over in case team questions arise. And play around with the platform when it’s new! There is so much to discover.
Are there any future initiatives that you personally would like to achieve that our product or team can help with?
Chris: Our primary future goal is hiring additional veterinarians. This means:
- Bringing on new staff: Because Instinct has training resources and has made it easy to learn the platform, it will make training new staff simpler.
- Expanding hours to be open every day of the week: Analytics and access from home will be essential for me to keep up with the practice and review financial information.
- More information sharing: Right now, we have one vet and mostly one set of staff, so communication and documentation tools will be huge for ensuring continuity of care as we grow. It’s easy for us to envision how a 20-vet or larger hospital would use Instinct given the suite of tools and visibility it enables across the whole team. We know we’ll be able to grow with Instinct.
If you’re curious about how Instinct Treatment Plan or our complete EMR platform could support your practice, reach out and request a demo.