Claire Cameron·14 November 2023
Pack member Claire is no stranger to routine clinical procedures. Not only a member of our customer success team here at PetsApp, she is also a qualified RVN of 15+ years who has worked in practice for even longer than that. However, Claire is also a self confessed world’s worst client!
“I should know what goes on once my beloved dog goes through the doors in the consulting room. But like our clients, I worried a lot. The first time in my life, I wasn't involved in any aspect of my pet's care.”
Taking her own experience as a first time pet mum (of Callie) and combining it with what she’s learned in her first year at PetsApp, Claire and the Customer Success team have put together a series of masterclasses for their veterinary teams. In this week’s episode Claire has created a step by step guide for the Nursing team that promotes a better overall experience for both clients and the veterinary teams that support them.
It took 15 messages and phone calls for me to get this picture of Callie, why is that relevant? Because I needed that reassurance. As soon as Callie went in I was no longer RVN Claire with a well trained head on her shoulders, I was Callie’s mum. A worried mum, worried that she’d be missing me as much as I was her, nervous of all the ‘what ifs’ and stressed because as well as school runs and my general every day workload, I now had Callie on my mind too. So what do our clients need? They need expertise, compassion, and communication. Expertise, this is where you and your team excel, communication, this is where we at PetsApp excel. And lastly they need compassion. When we work together with you we can really demonstrate compassion effortlessly.
What did I need? On that day, I needed reassurance. I knew about the expertise part, I knew the team well, I knew their facilities, so that one was ticked off, I knew they were compassionate (and your clients know you’re compassionate), otherwise I wouldn't have sent Callie that day. What I needed was communication with compassion to reassure me. It was taken for granted that I knew she'd be okay. My teammates knew I'd done this a million times, and I was really guilty of that too when I worked in practice. We know the pet is okay, but the owner doesn't. We get so busy doing other things. We ask the owner to phone reception for an update at 2pm, so the owner goes home and clock watches. If you're lucky, they'll only call the front desk once, but if they are anything like me, they'll phone multiple times checking in to see how their pet is doing.
So what could we have done better by using PetsApp to streamline this process? Well lets reimagine the scenario. Instead of re-laying all the info on the day, what if the day before Callie was booked in for a surgery, her vet sent me a lovely reminder, so I knew what I needed to do to prepare for Callie's procedure: withhold all food,take her for a walk, the usual pre-operative instructions. Then, when I took Calli for surgery, I left the clinic and I received post-op instructions straight to my phone. Not a piece of paper that I lose or Callie chews, or because I’m so anxious about seeing her I don't absorb the vital recovery information that I'm getting at the post-op discharge appointment. Instead, I've got the instructions in the palm of my hand at all times. I can go home, grab a coffee, and read them in my own time to fully understand what's required of me and Callie, to ensure she recovers from her operation. Even more, every single message is effortless for the team to send and is personalised to Callie.
A clinic I met with this week reported a 20% increase in compliance due to pre-operative instructions. As their clients felt guided through the process. No more delayed procedures because the cat has been left out overnight or the patient had their breakfast. And for us as the team, no more clients relentlessly calling to the front desk. And if you're unintegrated on PetsApp, simply set up a template to send the day prior to surgery, with the details of your pre-operative instructions.
So let’s go back to the hospitalised patient whether it's a day case or a prolonged stay, we've all been there. 4pm comes, there's a queue at reception and the owner is anxiously waiting to pick up their pet that's been in for the day. Evening consults are in full swing and the phone is ringing off the hook. How much easier would it have been if the worried owner had received an update, they'd also been sent a payment link before their visit for their discharge appointment and they simply just had to let reception know they’d arrived to collect their pet and go. Suddenly, we’ve got less phone calls, and your receptionists have more time for the clients in front of them. Why not layer in an asynchronous video discharge. So you can send the owner a video message you recorded earlier (when you were less busy) of yourself doing a discharge, sitting in the kennel with Callie. A quick video just to say something like:
“Hi, it's Claire, one of the nurses, Callie's recovered well from her anaesthetic. When you take her home, please ensure she has a light meal this evening. Lead walks only for the next seven to 10 days, monitor her wounds...” - Your usual discharge advice.
The client, who likely has their phone on them at all times, is now able to check back and rewatch and review your instructions, not only reducing phone calls to discuss forgotten instructions, not only increased client satisfaction but also increased compliance and a happier, healthier pet! And for the business, this spreads client bonding, and the goodwill of clients will spread widely across your team. We often see messages from clients about how easy they found it to pick up their pet and pay; no queues, no stress.
So what about using PetsApp to directly increase team satisfaction? A source of an incredible amount of lost time for me when I was in practice was the dreaded meds to collect blocks! It would always start with a plastic tub that would then evolve into some drawers that were just about the height of me, lettered alphabetically, that some poor soul had to go through on a regular basis to contact the owners and see if they still wanted their flea treatment or whether it could be put it back into stock (use by dates willing). With PetsApp you can encourage clients to pay for requested medications prior to collection so they're committed to collect. Removing the need to unnecessarily house unwanted/needed stock!
In fact there are so many more hacks and tips that can be deployed via PetsApp to help make both your vet nursing team’s and client’s lives easier. So why not reach out and let’s work through how PetsApp can help you, together.
Or better still if you’ve got any hacks or tips from using PetsApp in your own clinic, why not share them with the rest of our community members, on our private user group page.
In partnership with SPVS It is not uncommon for those who are new to Veterinary Practice management to feel uncertain and confused about the…Read more
In the ever-evolving landscape of veterinary technology, the recent closure of VetTools has left many veterinary teams seeking an…Read more