What more can veterinary practices do to improve profitability and patient care at the same time? For one forward-thinking clinic in Oregon, the answer was to create significant new savings and staff efficiency by switching to a different manufacturer’s lab equipment. While the move was an opportunity, it was also a technological challenge that would be solved by leveraging an existing, close relationship with our company.

The challenge:

Change lab instrument suppliers to increase practice profitability, without sacrificing:

  • Workflow efficiencies
  • Ability to automate charge capture
  • Reliability of electronic medical records (EMRs).

The solution:

Use AXIS-Q middleware to provide bi-directional integration between the Covetrus Practice Management System (PMS) and new lab instruments.

The results:

Improve practice profitability by saving a projected $30,000 to $35,000 every year, which Companion Pet Clinic of Klamath Falls can take to its bottom line. Plus, the improved efficiency saves 3 to 5 hours in staff time per week (156 to 260 hours annually)—which can be redirected to enhance patient care.

“ Before AXIS-Q, matching the right test results with the right patient record was a problem. Now it’s mistake proof. AXIS-Q gets it right every time—and that saves us 3 to 5 hours a week trying to match the results manually. When you automate this process, you’re going to be more profitable.” — Roger Riel, Practice Manager 

Making stronger connections:

When Companion Pet Clinic of Klamath Falls installed new lab equipment, it also chose to replace its practice management software with a system that would be compatible with the new equipment.

While the new software and lab equipment had a basic level of connectivity, it didn’t have bi-directional support—meaning there was limited communication between the two. As a result, Companion staff would need to enter critical test data manually—including the charge for each test—into the software and the correct patient or test I.D. into the lab equipment.

Manual data entry could create the potential for human error, lost charges for lab services and not matching the correct lab results with the correct patient electronic medical record (EMR).

Companion already knew the value of bi-directionality, having experienced it with the clinic’s prior PMS and lab equipment workflow. As a long-time customer, Companion also knew that AXIS-Q middleware was tailor-made to fully connect its new PMS and lab equipment—restoring the bidirectionality that the practice wanted. So Companion became one of the first sites for implementing the AXIS-Q solution.

“Having the ability to connect practice management software and lab equipment from two different companies is big. It creates a huge cost savings opportunity, without losing any efficiency or missed charges for tests.” — Roger Riel, Practice Manager 

Automating success:

AXIS-Q improves practice profitability and efficiency by connecting and automating four essential steps for every lab test:

  1. A staff member requests a lab test from the PMS. Test charges are captured.
  2. AXIS-Q communicates with the PMS and automatically forwards the test request to the lab equipment.
  3. The test is displayed in the equipment’s work list and a lab technician runs the test.
  4. Test results are automatically transmitted from the lab equipment—through AXIS-Q—to the correct patient’s EMR.

“All we have to do is access the work list, run the test and AXIS-Q does the rest,” Riel said. “There’s no manual data entry—and no way to mismatch test results with patients. The better accuracy and efficiency of automation is a huge benefit for us.”

For practices that don’t have the advantage of a bi-directional solution like AXIS-Q and rely instead on manual data entry, the missed revenue opportunity can be profound. Clinicians have enough to do already; asking them to remember to enter lab charges into the PMS every time can lead to an unnecessarily lower bottom line.

Capturing every charge:

“ Charge capture isn’t an issue for us. “The more you can automate these functions, the fewer mistakes you’re going to have.” And that makes AXIS-Q a key component of Companion’s profitability strategy. — Roger Riel, Practice Manager 

According to Riel, any veterinary practice can perform a quick calculation to determine if it’s charging for every test performed. Simply subtract the number of tests billed from the number of tests for which supplies have been purchased. “The difference will give you a clearer picture of how much profit you’ve been missing,” he said. AXIS-Q can help veterinary practices reclaim those profits.

Also, a practice that currently isn’t using AXIS-Q can determine— based on whatever tracking methodology is currently in place—how often the wrong test is matched with the wrong patient. “We had those types of errors before AXIS-Q,” Riel said. “But not anymore.”

For more information about the value of AXIS-Q for your veterinary practice, contact us.