Why your veterinary practice should make the move to digital records
If your veterinary practice hasn't yet made the switch to fully digital record keeping, it's likely that you're fighting with a mountain of paperwork on a daily basis, as well as having to negotiate your practice management system (PMS). While you may be used to this traditional way of working, making the move to all-digital records brings a wide range of benefits for you and your team.
The number of veterinary practices adopting digital veterinary software systems globally increased significantly during the pandemic, and while many aspects of life are slowly returning to pre-pandemic normality, it is clear to see that 100% digital record systems are here to stay.
What exactly are the benefits of going digital in your veterinary practice?
Well, once you've made the switch, you’ll find there are a lot! But here are some of the benefits we’d expect you to find...
We've all worked alongside someone with less than perfect handwriting. And to be honest, in practice, many of us take pride in our ability to decipher each other’s writing... But even if everyone on your team has perfect penmanship, sometimes time is short, and situations become so pressurised that it becomes necessary to note down information at speed. If documents aren't immediately easy to read, the risks of miscommunication increase, and you risk failing to reach the high standards you have set for yourself.
The RCVS Code of Professional Conduct for Veterinary Surgeons states that records must be 'clear, legible, accurate and appropriately detailed' - and that’s a major governance issue if you realise afterwards you can't read your own handwriting, let alone anyone else.
Plexi minimises room for error by facilitating the recording of accurate, clear and legible information. So, squinting at hastily written records trying to decipher precisely what they say will no longer be part of your team's everyday routine. It also acts as a detailed clinical record and comes with a full audit trail of every patient’s visit, allowing you to see who did what and when. Digital technology also allows for accurate note dictation, which can be a real time saver in a busy practice!
Historically, paper documents have been viewed as a safe and secure way to communicate information, but there are numerous ways in which this type of record can become damaged, lost or destroyed. From simply filing a document in the wrong place, to burst water pipes or fires, lost records will prove to be a nightmare for you and your team.
Plexi is an example of a cloud based veterinary software solution which eliminates the need for on-site security management and maintenance. It is certified to Cyber Essentials Plus standard, which requires all data to be encrypted and stored on remote, highly secure servers.
There are so many moving parts that keep your practice running smoothly every single day, and often multiple team members need access to the same information to provide the highest quality care to your patients and their owners. Whether that’s the consent form, the prep room board, the hospital sheet, or the anaesthetic chart, we can all envisage situations where it’s more efficient – and potentially safer – for several people anywhere in the practice to have access to that information in real time. While there is typically only a single copy of traditional paper documents, a digital solution allows every relevant member of your team to access the information they need, simultaneously if necessary.
Technologies such as Plexi act as a highly detailed clinical record and include a complete audit trail for every single patient visit. This ease of access means that everyone will always be on the same page, facilitating the seamless administration of treatments and allowing your team to work on a more collaborative basis.
This type of record keeping can also help you to minimise potential financial losses by ensuring that billing for every aspect of a patient's treatment is noted in real time and added to their account. This simple switch can also streamline the payment reconciliation process, making it easier for both your team and your clients.
Minimise Paper Usage
In addition to being a smart move for the efficiency, profitability and accuracy of your practice, going digital is also good for the planet. Sustainability is an issue that we're all thinking more carefully about and it is likely that you have considered ways to reduce your environmental footprint.
Minimising your paper consumption and waste is a straightforward yet impactful step to take, and a digital system will allow you to say goodbye to endless treatment sheets, consent forms, medicine inventories, anaesthetic sheets, and more.
Veterinary practices, by definition, generate an array of admin tasks that need to be completed in order to run safely and efficiently. However, in practices with high volumes of paper documents that need to be sorted, scanned, printed and filed away, it can be almost impossible for staff to keep up.
With a digital solution like Plexi, you can say goodbye to scanning and filing documents by hand, which can be extremely time-consuming and frustrating. In addition, you and your team won't need to spend hours typing up written notes or sifting through stacks of documents to find the one piece of paper you need.
Recent research in human healthcare has shown that moving to digital patient records significantly improves patient safety. Good examples would be procedure and pre-op checklists, and of course, quick, reliable and easy access drug calculators – which are built into Plexi.
Why your veterinary practice should go digital now
Whether this is your first introduction to going all-digital in your veterinary practice, or you have already been thinking about making the switch, now is the ideal time to act. Digital real-time patient records will streamline every aspect of the day-to-day running of your practice and improve overall efficiency, accuracy, and patient outcomes. This goes far beyond the use of a PMS – it brings everything you do seamlessly into the digital realm.
A digital veterinary practice is a more environmentally friendly practice, with an informed team who will work collaboratively to ensure that patients and clients receive the best quality care. A digital veterinary practice is also an efficient practice, with no time being wasted sifting through files, or looking in the far corners of your medicine inventory searching for something important. Instead, everyone's attention can be firmly directed towards doing what you do best: improving patient outcomes and connecting with clients in your community.
If you’d like to find out more about how Plexi can help you on your journey to a digital-first approach, get in touch with our friendly team for your free demo!