The Digital Veterinary Practice


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This is a presentation by Elise Wickett, RVT and Mike Pownall, DVM on the expanded role that RVTs can offer a veterinary practice using recent digital technologies. This allows a RVT to be more productive and offer more value to a veterinary practice.

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  • Great presentation. I especially liked the slides stating 'facebook is not a strategy, it's a tool', 'the person managing your social media is as important as the one answering the phones', and the 3 reasons vets suck at social media.
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  • High turnoverWasted educationCan’t earn a decent livingLimited future / job advancementWIIFM?Tools and the ability to use these tools to add value to your practice (while increasing job satisfaction, improving patient care & customer service, profitability) and reaping the benefits
  • To maximize your potential is to think critically about yourself and what you have to offer to the practice in the capacity of veterinary technician. This self analysis could provide some insight as to what motivates you, why you chose this career and why this practice. What do you want out of the experience. Take time to think about your strengths and your weakness’ as well as your different interests. Once you have done this you will be in a better position to evaluate where these digital tools may fit and how they could provide different challenges and success.
  • A 2009 job satisfaction survey by The Conference Board found that only 45% of Americans are satisfied with their work. This is the lowest level recorded in 22 years of this survey. Job satisfaction can come from being able to specialize, fine tune your skills or be an expert at something. Maybe its having a client leave their appointment with a greater understanding of the procedure performed. Contributing to a good client outcome despite perhaps a poor patient outcome. Maybe it means a bigger pay cheque. Job satisfaction can come from feeling like you are important and have an impact on the way the practice is run.This is where the self analysis comes into play. You need to know what is going to bring you job satisfaction and then you can go about implementing those changes. While the definition of job satisfaction may be different for each individual, we can likely all agree that given the amount of time we spend at work, it would be really great if we were able to enjoy it and find it satisfying.Another reason this is important is the impact this can have on the practice and the people you work with. By increasing and improving your personal job satisfaction you will be a loyal, invested and proud employee with greaterbuy in and engagement. You‘ll takeownership of your efforts and contributions because they mean something more to you now and hopefully this will result in better overall performance. Your boss will be happy!
  • What else will make your boss happy? Money. The dollars and cents. Two ways to increase practice income are by: Raising prices and/orReducing expensesSome of the digital tools we are going to tell you about could allow you to charge more since you will begin to offer more services. Others will help you increase your efficiency thereby cutting costs and expenses. What route you choose or how much of each depends largely on the demographics in your area and what your clients will tolerate. This will be different for each of you.Why should you care, you’re not the practice owner? If the practice is more profitable, they can put this money back into the practice in ways that can benefit their employees. There are many creative ways of doing this to reward and motivate staff, which goes beyond the scope of this presentation and I’m sure you can think of a few that you would like. Regardless, given the current economic challenges, I would think if they are considering reducing expenses by laying people off, they are not going to get rid of their most valuable player, you.
  • We take care of horses, but don’t kid yourself, this is a people business. Have you even had a horse come in with a credit card on their own?!? Customer service is undeniably important and crucial. It can be impacted by both social media initiatives and improving internal efficiency.
  • Specifically we see customer service being affected by client education, the clients accessibility to information and veterinary staff, ease of doing business, and the practice having greater access to a network of resources.
  • Once you have a tool how are you going to use it?
  • KeyNeedexcelellent content
  • Cool = Camera
  • Insert cleint newsletter
  • Put a sample of ours there. Put a copy with my text
  • Easy to use digital image archiving system. Load images into system where they are safety stored and accessed. Images are stored in the cloud and easily accessed from any computer with an internet connection. Even those without an internet connection can access the images from a local copy of the program that can be updated whenever an internet connection is found. Allows for image sharing amongst many practitioners as well as readily available information ‘on the road’. We have many vets and patients spread over a large geographical area. Keystone keeps these vets connected with one another. Often times horses will move or travel for competition and with this data sharing software we are better equipped to provide continuity of care when all vets working on the case have access to the same information.What is it?How to use itHow we/MPES uses it/impact on MPESFuture implications
  • File sharing with data being stored in the cloud. You can download it free off the internet and additional space is available for purchase. Easy to use and video tutorial is available.We use Dropbox to share mainly photographs and video files. It is a nice way to have multiple contributors and users for projects. Again, our offices are spread out and it is not always fast or easy to get pictures to the people responsible for our marketing and social media initiatives. By using Dropbox a vet out on a call can easily send a neat picture she took of a case and have it uploaded to our Facebook page long before she physically steps back into the clinic. We have been able to increase our efficiency by having a shorter wait time for information or project completion.
  • Here are some other useful tools that we will discuss a bit further with regards to their implications on internal comunication.
  • Basecamp is a project management software developed by a company called 37Signals. With “A focus on communication and collaboration. Basecamp brings people together.” Offers to do lists, file and document uploading, a calendar, milestones and writeboad which is an idea or brainstorming section.Sign up online and get a free 30 day trial.We use it for all of our larger and on going projects. This includes staff meeting, administrative meetings, presentations, Health and Safety and training initiatives. You can see what people have been up to and how they have been contributing to a project. It is a hassle free way to stay organized.
  • GoToMeeting is a Web-hosted remote meeting and desktop sharing software that enables the user to meet with other computer users, customers, clients or colleagues through the Internet in real-time. One person hosts the meeting which they invite other people to join. There is no cost to accept an invitation. The host has the option of showing the guests all or some of their computer and together they can have a productive meeting.It can be purchased online, and a free 30 day trial also available.We use it for staff meetings, online training sessions and anytime when we don’t need to or can’t get everyone in the same physical location.
  • Video and Voice calling from different devices, often times at cheaper rates than our cell phones.Free download from their website. We use Skype as a quick and easy way to connect internally. Quick question here and there that doesn’t really warrant interrupting someone the way a phone call might, we also use it to contact people with time sensitive information when they are otherwise unreachable.
  • Document sharing for projects
  • One vet practice might find this tool particularly useful as multiple people can access the information from any computer or device connected to the internet. Free.
  • Posterous is a blogging platform. Anyone can sign up for a free account and contribute using various devices including through your email address.Instead of an internal newsletter, which we found was not being accessed by staff, we switched to Posterous. It allows us to contribute information to our staff in a timely manner, instead of waiting until the end of the month to notify them of something that may have happened weeks earlier. Interesting way to communicate information that may otherwise be ‘looked over’. Casual way to post pictures, videos, links and comments. We have it setup so that each staff member is able to contribute and it is only available to be viewed by approved subscribers.
  • Client Education – social mediaAccessibility – social mediaEase of doing business – internal communicationBroaden practice access to experts – communication and services offeredYou have the ability to contact and communicate more easily with other professionals regardless of whether they are part of your immediate practice or even geographical area. Your clients and patients will reap the benefits when you can do the ‘leg work’ to get them this specialized information. Technician appointments & underserviced or a large service area (Skype)Technician appointments can provide professional educated care at a lower cost to the client, and to the vet practice while improving job satisfaction for the technician. A digital tool that can be used is Skype. Its use can help instill confidence from the client in the technician as the technician has real time access to the veterinarian.
  • Green items could fall into each category, either efficiency or client apps.
  • EQUINE LABgives reference ranges and clinical interpretation for a wide range of tests used in horses
  • FEI CLEAN SPORTThe Clean Sport app allows immediate access to the FEI Equine Prohibited Substancesonline database.
  • Hopefully our presentation has motivated you to search out more information and think about how this could fit into your practice. We have given you an introduction to these ideas and shown you how they are used at McKee Pownall Equine Service, but its really up to you to be creative and think outside the box when it comes to your individual situation. So take information back with you, come up with a plan to present these ideas to your boss. Be prepared to educate your co workers & employer so they too can understand the benefits and support your ideas. Good luck and have fun with it.
  • This presentation can be found on our Slideshare site. Follow our vetsLike our Facebook pageWatch our videosRead Dr Pownalls business blogVisit our website, red other blogs thereAnd feel free to contact me.
  • The Digital Veterinary Practice

    1. 1. The Digital Veterinary Practice: beyond x-rays & ultrasoundElise Wickett, RVT Mike Pownall, DVM McKee-Pownall Equine Services
    2. 2. Transition to a new future• The current model• The new model• Opportunities• Be part of the change
    3. 3. What’s wrong with this picture?
    4. 4. Maximize your potential
    5. 5. Improve Job Satisfaction
    6. 6. Increase practice income
    7. 7. Tell me more…CUSTOMER SERVICE• Social Media• Internal Efficiency
    8. 8. Customer Service• Client Education• Accessibility• Ease of doing business• Broaden practice access to experts
    9. 9. What is Social Media? “Social media is the use of technology combined with social interaction to create orco-create value.”
    10. 10. Why Do I Need Social Media? Challenges in equine practice• Economy• Competition• Internet
    11. 11. People Do Business With People They Trust
    12. 12. Social Media Why is it Different?• Conversational• Collaborative• Selective• Immediate• Transparent
    13. 13. How• What is our goal?• How are we going to do this?• How do we know we are successful?
    14. 14. Strategy• Facebook is not strategy• Facebook is a tool.• Herd health is a strategy to minimize the spread of a virus• A vaccine is a tool
    15. 15. Social Media Failure• Boring• Inconsistent• Preach• Don’t engage• Don’t measure
    16. 16. 4Es of Social Media• Educate• Entertain• Engage• Evangelists
    17. 17. Social Media Universe Web SiteBlog
    18. 18. Twitter• 140 characters• Unique language• Immediate updates• Share links, photos, videos• Twitter now has >200,000,000 users• 8% of Americans• Fastest growing platform
    19. 19. 48
    20. 20. What if people say bad things about us?
    21. 21. “Our brand isn’t what we say it is. It’s what the search engines say it is.” Mitch Joel
    22. 22.
    23. 23. Google Alerts
    24. 24. Responding to Criticism
    25. 25. Social Media Policy
    26. 26. The 3 reasons vets fail at Social Media
    27. 27. The 3 reasons vets fail at Social MediaToo old, too busy, too cautious
    28. 28. Strategy• What?• How?• What?
    29. 29. How• Which platforms?• What content?• Who is going to do it?• Time?• Budget?• Buy in?
    30. 30. The person doing Social Media at a vet practice is as important as the person who answers the phones June 2011 • 6500 web page views • 28,000 FB Impressions • 3000 phone calls
    31. 31. Internal Efficiency – File Sharing
    32. 32. Dropbox
    33. 33. Internal Efficiency - Communication• Basecamp• Go To Meeting• Skype• Google Docs• Google Calendar• Posterous
    34. 34. Basecamp
    35. 35. GoToMeeting
    36. 36. Skype
    37. 37. Google Docs
    38. 38. Google Calendar
    39. 39. Posterous
    40. 40. Customer Service - Services Offered• Broaden practice access to experts• Technician appointments
    41. 41. Apps• Efficiency Apps • Client Apps (education) – Unit conversions – Equine conformation – Weather – Equine vet – Gas buddy – Physical Horse 1, 2, 3 – Friend finder – Horse Keeper – Maps – Equivitals – Formulary – Horse height calculator – FEI/ Clean Sports – Equine Techniques – Equine Lab – CVP compendium
    42. 42. Apps
    43. 43. Apps
    44. 44. Now Get Going!
    45. 45. • Slideshare• Twitter – Check our website• Facebook s• You Tube• Blog• Website• Email
    46. 46. Thank You