Woofy’s on Kuhls is a veterinary surgery located in Highfields, north of Toowoomba, in Queensland. Siblings Chris (aka Woofy) and Charissa have around 20 years of veterinary experience with companion animals, and they started the practice together in late 2022.
Chris and Charissa are passionate about the veterinary industry, they wanted to launch their own business to serve the local community and their animals. The six staff focus on delivering great customer service across small/companion animals and provide smaller consults, through to major surgeries.
As a new practice, the immediate goal of the Woofy’s team is to grow its clientele within Highfields and the surrounding area, building a loyal client base. To achieve this, they are heavily focused on delivering impactful client communications and marketing, they rely on their practice management system (PMS) to support their growth into the future.
A modern solution needed for a brand-new practice
Chris says they were seeking a cloud PMS for Woofy’s that would provide flexibility and functionality. “Cloud is the way of the future for our industry,” he says.
“A big factor for us was having access to our veterinary software without needing to be physically present in the clinic. We also needed a solution that would free up time for us to build our client base and focus on animal care, instead of the time-consuming manual tasks in our daily workflows.”
Chris explains that they were also looking for a PMS that was easy to use and which lets team members communicate with each other quickly and easily. “Our smaller team is very busy, and we have a lot to do,” he says. “Covetrus Ascend helps us communicate better.”
Like most high-performing veterinary practices, the Woofy’s team had a list of prerequisites for their PMS. Must-haves included:
- Seamless integration for labs, x-rays, and diagnostics as well as connectivity with Provet Connect for inventory management.
- A cloud-based solution that allowed the team to operate effectively in-clinic and offsite.
- Real-time visibility into the key metrics driving practice performance.
- Effective and easy-to-use client communication tools and marketing functionality.
- Easy-to-learn, modern, intuitive, and flexible.
- Time-saving, with less clicking and clean workflows.
- Regular feature updates and system improvements.
- Access to notes and histories when offsite.
- Internal communication features for the team.
- Secure data and privacy.
With this list of requirements, Chris and Charissa did thorough due diligence on leading providers in the market.
“We decided that Ascend, with its cloud connectivity, was essential for how we wanted to operate,” says Chris. “We needed a tool that could connect seamlessly for our inventory management, client comms, labs and diagnostics. When we reviewed Ascend and then saw a demo, we loved the style and layout of the software. It’s also very easy to learn, which was key for us at the time, as we were a new practice that was focused on building our clientele and didn’t want to spend ages learning a new system. We also liked that it could be set up to suit our specific needs,” he adds.
A key feature that Chris and the Woofy’s team love is that – when preparing for the next day and especially when making bookings – they can do all these key tasks on a mobile device.
“We don’t have to go to the computer in the practice to check our schedule,” Chris explains. “This supports better organisation. I can view everything easily on my phone or tablet, giving me a clear picture of the practice and our workflows.”
Ascend’s task management and its client/patient workflows are also useful for the team by ensuring all tasks are listed clearly and that all details are accurate. Being able to make bookings on mobile devices without needing to be at a computer workstation saves them valuable time. Chris comments that these are very easy to view on the MyHub page or in the calendar view.
Getting up to speed and transitioning to Ascend
Transitioning to a new PMS can sometimes provide challenges but Chris is extremely positive about how quick and easy it was to get up and running on Ascend.
“Setup was easy, and we had a knowledgeable implementation specialist who helped us through the migration process and did regular check-ins. It was also easy to learn and get up to speed using the training that Covetrus provided”, he explains.
This is a benefit that many Covetrus clients enjoy, as many of the implementations and onboarding team members have industry experience and understand the challenges of practice life, with the need for a quick transition to a new PMS.
Chris is also complimentary about the technical support provided for Ascend:
“We’ve only needed it a few times but what we’ve received has been great and the team has been fast in getting us back to work. It also helps that they are Australian based,” he adds.
The Woofy’s team have found Ascend easy to learn and operate. “We’ve had no challenges getting up to speed on Ascend. Locating and accessing patient details, finishing up consults, doing histories, uploading pictures or any important information has been great and it’s easy to use.”
Flexibility options in or out of the practice
Chris lists some key features in Ascend that he and the Woofy’s team enjoy the most:
- Ability to use Ascend outside of the clinic and on the road. “Lots of our vets type up notes and consult histories remotely, which saves time,” says Chris. Patient and client information is easy to view on a computer, tablet or phone and it flows seamlessly.
- Time savings. Chris says: “We save a lot of time, particularly when booking clients in and running our workflows from MyHub. Also, when a consult is complete, we can view it easily in the system and don’t have to speak to the vet in person. Having the Provet connection for inventory management also helps, especially when importing dockets and having price increases or decreases done automatically.”
A key focus for Woofy’s: New client acquisition and marketing
As a new practice, one of Chris and Charissa’s immediate goals was to build a loyal base of repeat clients. Ascend has played a key role in their client acquisition strategy.
“Client communication campaigns have been seamless and easy to do within Ascend,” Chris explains, “including automated revisit, worming, tick, and vaccination reminders and follow-up appointments. This helps us maintain our existing client base and attract new clients. Ongoing client communication, including reminders, is important, so clients don’t forget. As a newish practice, client communications are critical for us. They are easy to set up in Ascend and it saves us a lot of time. We like that all our marketing and client communications can be done from within Ascend. This saves us a lot of time sending texts or emails, plus we don’t have to keep calling clients for reminders. We save money by not doing direct mailout reminders too. We can now schedule texts, emails, and follow-up reminders quickly and easily,” Chris adds.
Streamlined daily workflows
The Woofy’s team enjoys the workflows in Ascend’s MyHub, as it’s easy for them to process appointments and understand what’s happening in the practice at any time, no matter if staff members are onsite or offsite.
“The easy functionality of being able to move the work throughout the timeline and stages is simple and effective,” Chris says. He adds that missed charges, which are a common issue for veterinary practices, are recaptured through Ascend. “There’s a section where you can see incomplete consults and unpaid invoices, which makes it easy to view what’s happening and stay on track,” he explains. This helps eliminates missed charges and recapture revenue.
Speed of upgrades and development
Chris, Charissa, and their team also enjoy the fortnightly software updates and announcements, which keep their team up to date on enhancements.
“It’s great to see the pace of development and speed of updates,” Chris says. “We all use the announcements feature, which means we don’t have to contact support or do intensive research to understand what’s new. It just pops up and is there for us to read and action. There have been continual positive changes, particularly around making the program quicker and faster.”
This drive to ensure customers are supported with the best possible PMS is backed by Covetrus’ investment in the innovation and development of Ascend.
Chris wraps up his assessment of Ascend with the following comments:
“We all feel very positive about Ascend. We’d recommend Ascend for a clinic looking for a cloud solution. It’s better than other systems we’ve used in the past and it fits our needs well. We’re very happy with our choice.”
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