Why hiring isn’t the only solution to improving veterinary practice productivity

11 November 2022 5 min read


How technology innovation can propel your clinic forward

It’s time for some new ideas.

Innovation doesn’t always mean the latest gadget. It can also mean looking at things from a fresh perspective and allowing room for some new ideas.

When was the last time you considered changing the software at your veterinary practice? We’re willing to bet it’s been a while. You’re busy, and the most important thing is looking after patients.

Technology that adds value, not just bells and whistles

What exactly is the cloud?

Think of it as an online hub for all the digital information your business needs to run its operations day to day. Storing your data in the cloud means you can access what you need when you need it, regardless of the device you’re on or where you are at, as long as you have a secure, private wi-fi connection. It is also more protected than that server in your clinic, since the software is always up to date with the latest technology including data encryption.

You probably already use cloud-based services, listening to music or accessing files on Spotify and Google Docs. The business challenges that came with Covid-19 have super-charged cloud solutions. The pandemic forced us all to think differently, and it has challenged the standards we’re used to at veterinary clinics around the country. In response, practices are shifting to digital-first workflows and there are plenty of opportunities for clinics to embrace digital practices into your clinic, alongside your staff, strategically.

Without the need for hardware that traditional on-premises practice management software requires, a veterinary operating system (vOS) is hosted in the cloud. This reduces the need for your own IT services and means your staff can access medical records, in-visit exam forms, the practice whiteboard, and other critical information, wherever they are and whatever device they’re on.

Knowledge is power. How to recognize the need for change.

How do you know if your practice is losing money or missing opportunities to grow revenue streams? Do you know the exact margins? Which products are selling the best and which services no longer seem required?

Signs your practice may need to reconsider its technology strategy include higher than typical staff turnover, low morale, or waning customer loyalty. Perhaps you’re being asked about services or technologies you’re not familiar with, or pet parents are asking when they’ll be able to book appointments online.

If you’re experiencing any or all of these factors, it doesn’t mean you have to completely overhaul how you do business. Through innovative leadership, strategic adjustments can make it easy to improve

your clinic’s operations, create a great client experience, and provide the best care possible to your patients.

What’s going on in the world that’s putting pressure on your practice?

While headlines claimed pet adoptions went through the roof during the Covid-19 lockdown, according to shelters – the #1 adoption source – fewer pets were adopted in 2020-21 compared to 20191. Safety concerns meant fewer routine check-ups during the pandemic, followed by all-time highs as the world opened up again.

Veterinary appointments across the country stabilized in late 2021. However, in 2022 visits growth has slowed while revenue per visit remains strong at an average of $196 revenue per visit as of July 20222. Pet parents are spending more per visit than pre-COVID.

Fuelled by working from home, and forming new households, millennials now make up 32% of pet owners3. As noted in UVSA COVID Implications in Animal Health, this generation is tech forward, grew up with the internet, and expect convenience, cost savings, and efficiency in their service deliveries.

Like others, you might have found your practice struggling to keep up with patient demand. Hiring and retaining good quality staff and maintaining their morale is complex. Just finding the time to get everything done appears to be the biggest challenge across the board4.

Changes in your tech can mean big improvements.

Prosci, in its 2018 study “Best Practices in Change Management5,” found that organizations with excellent business management practices were six times more likely to reach their objectives. One critical component of your business strategy is the technology your practice uses daily and what it enables for your clinic staff and clients.

“Through technology, Covetrus empowers practices to drive better delivery of care – spending less time on tasks that can be automated or streamlined so they can focus on caring for patients.” – Ying Chen, chief customer officer, product at Covetrus.

This is where Pulse, the industry’s first veterinary operating system (vOS), comes into play. Your time and attention are precious. Easy-to-use and integrated software saves you plenty of time—three hours per week according to our latest study6.

What is a veterinary operating system, and do I need one?

Operating systems are not a new concept in software. You’ve used Google, Microsoft Office, and iOS before, but a veterinary-specific operating system is new to the animal health industry.

Right now, you might find yourself using up to a dozen applications to run your practice efficiently. That might include your online pharmacy, your payment processing and accounting software, an email marketing platform, and perhaps a pet owner portal. Most of these applications don’t work together and aren’t accessible across devices. We’ve heard time and time again that practices find this difficult, which is why we created Covetrus Pulse™. A first of its kind veterinary operating system, Pulse allows you to manage essential business and client needs from one centralized, cloud-based environment. That you can access from anywhere, whatever device you’re on. Wherever you are, you have accessibility from desktop computers and most mobile devices including laptops, tablets, and smartphones.

Consider this. Patients getting automated appointment reminders significantly reduces no-shows. A simple online booking system reduces staff time on the phone. Offering your clients access to a

complete online pharmacy, with refill reminders and autoship, drives treatment compliance and can generate more revenue than providing in-clinic inventory alone. An integrated payment processing solution also means additional clinic efficiencies, with significantly reduced margin of error, since payment data is transferred to your practice management software without any manual entry.

This is what Covetrus Pulse is all about. And what Pulse gives you and your staff is more time to focus on what matters—the health and vitality of animals.

Bringing Pulse into your practice doesn’t mean you have to eliminate everything you’re doing already. If you want to keep parts of your workflows and essential services that are working, our software easily integrates with third-party apps. It’s flexible and customizable for your clinic. Whatever works to give your team more time to do what they do best is our priority.

Improve efficiency at your practice with technology

When things get busy or your practice starts to feel overwhelmed, it’s easy to think hiring is the answer, but consider looking at things from a different perspective. Instead of more staff, explore cutting-edge, care-oriented technology. Try using innovation to drive efficiency.

The less you have to worry about, the better. We know you’ve got a lot to do. By employing technology that adapts to the way you work and also helps uncover new opportunities for efficiency, you can focus on what you do best, caring for animals.

Find out how Pulse can work at your clinic, today.


1 Shelter Adoption stats: Best Friends Animal Society, 2021-2022 https://bestfriends.org/no-kill-2025/animal-welfare-statistics)
2 (Covetrus Data, September 2022)
3 UVSA’s “COVID Implications in Animal Health”, 2021 produced by APG|O’Hara Research and Analytics
4 Covetrus Brand Study, April 2021
5 Best Practices in Change Management, Prosci. 2020 https://www.prosci.com/resources/articles/change-management-best-practices
6 Covetrus Pulse Customer Satisfaction Survey June 2022. https://covetrus.com/study-reveals-new-covetrus-technology-saves-time-provides-relief-to-overworked-understaffed-veterinary-practice