Not all practices use practice management software. And of those who do, many only use it as as invoicing and billing system. Practice management software is more than a billing system. It is the brain and nerve center of your practice that is crucial to marketing and most other functions of the practice. Good practice management software that is appropriately used is crucial to an effective marketing program for a veterinary practice. Some functions that should be well-performed by a good practice management software program or service include:
- billing and invoicing
- client information and history
- patient information and history
- medical record
- inventory management
- data-mining and marketing
- reporting capabilities
It may require more than one program or service to accomplish all of these effectively. Your selected programs should have the capability to integrate or 'talk' to other programs such as the data-mining and marketing programs, Vetstreet and AllyDVM. It is very important to learn of the full possibility of capabilities to accomplish the list of required functions. Integration or compatibility to receive and store laboratory results as a part of the medical record are important. Integration with reminder, data-mining, and marketing programs is crucial. Other functionalities to consider are client feedback and ratings services, social media and image management, online scheduling, and potentially a payment gateway. Make sure that the information in your practice management system is accessible to you with a flexible reporting capability. Almost all of your data should be accessible by download into Microsoft Excel or similar database to provide you access to it for in-depth analysis.
Your practice management software is crucial to successfully marketing your practice.