The advantages of veterinary practice management software and how to choose the right one

13 January 2022 5 min read


Like the solid foundation of a house, it’s not habitable without it. Whether you have existing veterinary practice management software (PMS) already or operate a paper-based system, the New Year, is a good time to evaluate your infrastructure. Is it solid and robust or is it shaky and could do with some groundwork?

A PMS can help you manage your clinic operations in an efficient and effective way such as appointment scheduling; storing key pet patient history, data and diagnostics; managing payments; communicating with clients; interlinking with other tools and equipment and more. Practitioners use it for a wide array of benefits including:


Covetrus vet with cat icon1) Staff productivity and saving time

Vet staff, as we know, are overwhelmed, burned out and stressed. Whilst we can’t directly solve the problem, we can simplify processes and help reduce complexities around how jobs are done.

Technology and practice management software offers convenience and streamlining across many facets of a vet or practitioner’s job. For example, mobile capabilities or app access means a vet can have access to a pet’s record from anywhere, meaning they can view their first patient’s record en-route to work in their commute. Or before their next patient, viewing records on a mobile device versus having to go to a terminal.

Appointment booking is made easy at the click of a button monitoring all customer responses, by being synced up to SMS features. Or the vet’s diagnosis can be synced up from the PMS to other diagnostic tools, saving time on having to switch between different tools. The possibilities are endless. See our case study with Dogs Trust on how they saved £100,000 per year.


Covetrus handshake icon2) Better client communication

Usually, practice management software has a marketing and communication tool. In our PMS, we host the ability to create:

  • Automated appointment reminders
  • Automated pet reminders (vaccinations/health checks/flea and worming treatments etc.)
  • Automated surveys
  • Automated welcome email for new clients
  • Online booking – 24/7 bookings for the practice
  • Marketing campaigns – promotions/ newsletters/ practice updates and more

When it’s all taken care of in one tool, it’s easy to use, easy to schedule automated communications and improves client engagement and retention. Because it’s automated, your communication efforts become much more segmented, relevant, timely and for lack of a better word, slicker!

For the customer, it is also a more enhanced experience as they get notified about upcoming appointments and are able to see invoices, what’s due, diagnosis reports and see what other services you’re able to offer. This in turn improves compliance rates and reduces no-shows. You can unlock marketing resources and get hints and tips here.


Covetrus prescription bottle with plus sign icon3) Improved stock management practices

Stock management is the second largest expense at a veterinary clinic. So it makes sense to address this head-on with clever practice management software that will help you track all stock and manage your inventory needs. For sustainability, it also reduces waste and half-used liquids, offering better control from an environmental and cost perspective. Using stock control in a PMS includes how to:

  • Preset optimal stock levels.
  • Create a structured environment for more disciplined stock control & stock takes
  • Implement easy & accurate recording of dispensed quantities
  • Record batch numbers & expiry dates – reporting on short-dated items
  • Monitor the ‘shelf life’ of opened stock
  • Enter, track & report on stock wastage
  • Get additional value through VetCheck and Integrated Payments

You can view more here and watch our on-demand demo.


Covetrus gear with circling arrows icon4) The connected vet practice

A vet practice management system offers little use unless it is well connected to other tools you use in the practice. For example, in our interview with Chris the Vet, he agrees:

“We have quite an intuitive practice management system (PMS) that has integrated diagnostics, so I can quite quickly send an owner an email with the blood results and brief description. If I’m describing that on the phone and chanting numbers, stats etc, that doesn’t sink in with the client. Whereas if they’re given graphics, it makes it easier for them to understand. The PMS makes it much easier to see results instantly where I don’t need to run to the x-ray machine or blood machine when time is short, which makes a huge difference.”

Our Executive Vice President and President of Global Technology Solutions, Georgia Wraight, also described the importance of staying connected and “inter-operability”, where systems can talk to each other and how tools can be used to ensure clinics have what they need under one roof, in a simple, accessible and efficient way.


Veterinary practice KPIChoosing the right practice management software

It’s not an easy task when there are so many practice management software providers on the market. Whether you’re a start-up or an established clinic, with or without existing software, it’s always important to think about your top priorities and strategy first before thinking about PMS features.

Is it about building your client base and acquiring more customers? Is it more about improving client engagement and strengthening the existing relationship? Or is your business more focused on ‘fixing’ gaps and weaker areas such as stock management and data reporting? It is also based on the size and type of clinic e.g. small animal, mixed or equine. Some PMS’ specialise or cater to all of them.

Takeaway or top questions you can ask in regards to the PMS’ features:

  • Is it cloud-based or server-based? What are my needs?
  • What are the client communication modules like?
  • How does it help with appointment scheduling?
  • Data management- how does it store, process and display key data such as patient and client records?
  • Third-party integrations – does it connect with other software, and if so, how many, such as integrated payments and diagnostics?
  • Does it have stock management capabilities?
  • Reporting – what are the reporting modules and what key KPI’s, analytics, data and reports can I pull?
  • Training and customer services – what does the provider offer?
  • Security – how are the cloud or server-based systems protected in terms of data and privacy?
  • Finances – does the provider offer flexible schemes and how are the payment terms?
  • Other perks – what’s different about the PMS and does it offer anything else? Such as Wellness Plan integrations e.g. ensuring increased revenue and profit as well as customer excellence.

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