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Two technology tools that can enhance veterinary practice


Drs. Alan Green and David Sachs use a census board and fax report to help increase efficiency at Charleston Veterinary Referral Center.

Drs. Alan Green and David Sachs of Charleston Veterinary Referral Center in Charleston, S.C., made sure to enhance technology and communication at their practice before opening the doors to their new 16,000-square-foot hospital. Take a look a few of the technology aides they utilize on a daily basis.

1. Census Board. The team uses a census board to keep track of every patient that has checked into the hospital, whether the dogs and cats are inpatients, outpatients, or still in the waiting room.

“We know exactly when the patients arrive and when they are seen by a doctor or team member," Dr. Green says. The board is displayed at all computer locations in the hospital, as well as several large monitors in the treatment area and ICU. The various departments are color-coded (e.g. the emergency room is labeled red, surgery is green, and so on).

“The time stamp allows us to see wait times, which from a management/client service standpoint—this is huge,” Dr. Green says. “No one should be waiting excessively to be triaged. If a wait time is chronic, it is either a symptom of understaffing or poor compliance on the team’s part. In a new and growing ER, it is helpful to have data, rather than anecdotes about service related issues.”

2. Fax analysis. Dr. Green says another really helpful technological aide is a fax report that comes through every morning. This report shows whether a fax transmission was successfully sent. “Many times, team members punch in the correct buttons but technology fails for whatever the reason,” Dr. Green says. “Our IT director is all over this and will catch these glitches, so that our referral doctor will be sure to have the patient records in hand no matter what.”

Dr. Green says both of these technology aides can be monitored remotely—from iPhones, iPads, computers—so doctors and team members can manage the hospital and put out fires 24/7.

“Problems with clients and patients can be dealt with immediately,” Dr. Green says. “It all comes back to dedication and focus on exceptional service to our referral base. This does not come with casual thought. This takes hard work and commitment. I'm very proud of what we as a team have accomplished in a relatively short time. I'm confident our referral base recognizes the difference.”

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