IT for Veterinary Practices: 6 IT Foundations Every Practice Needs
In today’s fast-paced digital world, veterinary practices must build a solid IT foundation. Every practice in today’s world needs IT to provide the best possible care for patients and operate efficiently. From maintaining accurate patient records to streamlining communication with clients, IT plays a vital role in the success of every veterinary practice. So, this article goes over the six key IT foundations your practice needs.
6 Key IT Foundations for Every Veterinary Practice
To create a veterinary practice you can grow and scale, you need these six IT foundations in place from the start. These foundations serve as the basis of your IT systems as you build your practice and work towards improving your processes and efficiencies with technology. With these six IT foundations in place, you can start taking advantage of any technology that helps your business succeed.
Without a reliable and fast internet connection, your veterinary practice starts to experience difficulties in a wide range of areas. This can include everything from communication to data management and remote access.
On top of this, your veterinary practice needs the internet more than before due to the rise of cloud-based solutions. Cloud-based solutions offer a range of benefits including:
● Scalable storage
● Automatic software updates and backups
● Access to information and resources remotely
But to take advantage of these benefits, your veterinary practice needs a high-speed and reliable internet connection.
By maintaining a reliable and fast internet connection, your veterinary practice can take advantage of new technologies and services as they become available. This lets you become an early adopter of innovative solutions such as telemedicine, remote patient monitoring, and virtual consultations.
2. Core Infrastructure
Your core IT infrastructure forms the backbone of your practice’s IT system. It includes the physical and logical components that make up the network, such as routers, switches, servers, and cabling. These components enable communication and data flow between different devices and systems.
A reliable wired and wireless network ensures that your staff and clients can access the information and resources they need, when they need it. As more people use mobile devices, maintaining a reliable wireless network becomes essential. This means that your wifi network should offer sufficient coverage and bandwidth to support the number of users and devices connecting to it. It also needs to avoid black spots where coverage is weak or non-existent.
3. IT Equipment
Your IT equipment includes computers, servers, printers, scanners, and other equipment necessary for your practice to run smoothly. These pieces of equipment are essential for the day-to-day operations of your practice. Having up-to-date and well-maintained IT equipment ensures that staff can perform their tasks efficiently and effectively.
You can assess your IT equipment by looking at your current computers and determining if they can still fulfil their purpose. Oftentimes, 5-year-old computers cost more in efficiency decreases than replacing them with newer models. On top of this, outdated equipment can also cause security vulnerabilities.
4. Key Services
The key services in your IT systems enable communication and collaboration within the practice. These services can include phone systems, email, and document-sharing software.
Maintaining reliable communication systems ensure patients receive the best possible care and avoid potential miscommunications between veterinarians and clients. It also enables your practice to communicate effectively with other practices, for example, for referral and telemedicine purposes.
Many practices struggle with the inability to access the email or file system from all systems, which can cause delays and inefficiency. So, make sure to assess whether your current communication and document-sharing methods are reliable and accessible from all systems.
5. Practice Management System
A Practice Management System (PMS) is a software program that helps streamline the administrative and clinical aspects of a veterinary practice. This includes appointment scheduling, patient record keeping, billing, and inventory management. A poorly managed PMS can cause delays and inefficiency, as well as negatively impact the quality of care provided to patients. So, regularly assessing your current needs and the capabilities of your PMS is necessary to ensure your practice runs smoothly.
6. Cyber Security & Backup
While it may seem unnecessary before an event occurs, your practice’s cyber security and backup plan ensures the protection of the sensitive data of your clients. It also helps you recover important data and systems in the event of a disaster or security breach. Your cyber security and backup must include a plan to ensure that important data and systems can be quickly restored in the event of a disaster. It also needs to include measures in place to protect against cyber attacks.
In addition to putting these systems in place, you also need to make your staff aware of your cyber security and backup plans. Ensuring that your staff is aware of these security measures and how to use them can help reduce the risk of a successful cyber attack or other interruption.
Why Do You Need Your IT Foundations?
Having the six IT foundations in place at your veterinary practice can be a lot to handle, but it doesn’t have to be overwhelming. Some experts and organizations can help you with setting up and maintaining your IT infrastructure, much like how you outsource your PMS.
These six IT foundations are not just about the physical technology, but it also:
● Maintains the safety and happiness of your practice team
● Ensures the security of your client’s data
● Provides a great customer experience
● Assures that your patients are healthier because of the effectiveness of the client journey and your systems
With the effects of the pandemic, there may be staffing issues or inefficiency in your practice. But instead of fixing your team, fixing your tech can benefit your staff, your clients, and your patients. We still have the same amount of hours in the day as before the pandemic but many practices have more patients than before. So, implementing these IT foundations can help streamline the workflow, improve communication, and increase patient care. It’s important to outsource to experts and organizations like us to take away the technology headache and to focus on what’s important, providing the best care for your patients.