<img alt="" src="https://secure.plan2twin.com/219004.png" style="display:none;">
Choosing cloud veterinary software: Is it right for your practice?

Choosing cloud veterinary software: Is it right for your practice?

“The cloud is the future.”

Chances are, you’ve heard some version of that statement before – suggesting that the old modes of computing (with personal hard drives and on-premise servers) are giving way to technology that lets you work from any location, without concern for data backup or data loss, more efficiently and affordably. 

If you’ve ever used a Google Doc or authorized a form with an e-signature, you’ve worked in the cloud. Which can only mean one thing: 

The cloud isn’t the future. The cloud is already here.

In the veterinary industry, the cloud is still (ahem) accumulating, as many practices grapple with the decision of whether to stick with the record-keeping systems and client communication tools they’ve been using for years…or to take the leap and modernize.

Before you begin the process of selecting cloud-based veterinary software for your practice, it’s a good idea to be familiar with its most basic components.

In this article, we’ll help you navigate this early stage of the software search, asking and answering some essential questions, including:


What is cloud-based software anyway?

Cloud-based practice management software is, in many ways, an antidote to on-premise. Rather than requiring you to maintain an expensive server, often with the support of outsourced IT professionals, or to perform your own data backups, a cloud-based system:

  • Lives and operates within a web browser
  • Does not require software to be downloaded onto your computer
  • Does not require you to own or maintain a local server to store data
  • Automatically backs up digitized client/patient information on highly encrypted internet servers (e.g. Amazon Web Services)
  • Updates continuously, preventing operational downtime
  • Allows for remote access on compatible, internet-connected devices
  • Is offered on a monthly or annual subscription basis

Even with these perceived advantages of moving to the cloud, there are many more questions to ask and factors to consider on your journey to finding the right cloud-based software for your practice. 

Why do you want cloud-based veterinary software?

A deceptively complex question, it demands a bit of knowledge-gathering on the benefits of cloud-based software. (And you should anticipate this to be one of the first questions asked of you in the software provider’s sales process.)

So, why do you want a cloud-based system? What appeals to you about running your practice in the cloud? Here are reasons we hear most often from veterinary practices:

  • Lower maintenance costs
    Say goodbye to the server that lives in the back room of your practice. No more worrying about your server crashing or lagging, and no more having to retain IT services for maintenance or repairs.

  • Affordability
    Most cloud-based solutions charge monthly fees via subscription-based services. Some may appear, on paper, to be pricier than your current system, but after you remove server costs from the equation, then add in the expanded features and integrations you’ll gain (see Chapter 4), cloud-based software may actually amount to cost savings.

  • Anytime / anywhere accessibility
    Cloud-based is synonymous with browser-based, which means you can access your practice management system on virtually any internet-enabled device. This is a benefit to the equine veterinarian updating a patient record from the barn or a practice manager reconciling the day’s invoices from home.

  • Scalability
    Your software should be able to accommodate the growth of your practice. As you increase the number of patients and appointments, or as you add new users across multiple practice locations and on different devices, cloud-based software should experience minimal to no degradation in performance.

  • Automatic updates
    Software updates no longer require a download that can take several minutes to complete and causes downtime. In the cloud, updates and enhancements to your system happen automatically and continuously – and usually in the background. 

  • Stronger data security
    Moving valuable practice data from a local server to the cloud makes some people nervous. Which is why most cloud-based solutions prioritize cybersecurity to prevent data theft and offer safeguards against accidental data loss.

  • Better support
    It’s no guarantee, but a cloud-based software provider selling itself as a modern, progressive solution tends to promise a more personalized approach to training you on their system and making sure you are successful and happy with their product.

Buyers Guide_banner

What are your goals for a new software system?

The value of these benefits will be different for each practice, and that will largely depend on what goals you want to achieve by switching to a cloud-based system. What improvements do you hope to make? These are also known as key performance indicators (KPIs).

Think of KPIs as a kind of “north star” in your journey to finding the best software solution for your practice. And although defining KPIs need not be a complicated step in the search process, ideally you are able to measure and quantify them.

Here are some common KPIs to consider, along with examples of how you might measure them against your new cloud-based system:

  • Revenue growth
    An automated appointment reminder tool that reduces the rate of no-shows may be attributable to increased revenue.

  • Practice efficiency
    The ability to generate an electronic invoice and email it to the client – all within the patient record – can save you a few minutes each time, and can add up to many hours each week.

  • Staff happiness
    By adopting new technology that streamlines routine tasks, you can reduce frustration, improve team, and increase staff retention.

  • Client satisfaction
    As you implement new modes of client communication (e.g. online scheduling, text message reminders, emailed discharge instructions), invite clients’ feedback on their experience.

Key takeaways

  • Rather than simply following the hype that surrounds cloud-based software, gain a clear understanding of what motivates you – your specific practice, with its unique needs – to make the switch. 

  • Make a connection between its stated benefits and the challenges you’re looking to solve. 

  • Come up a few goals that you’d like to be able to attribute to the efficacy of your new system.


Gather more tips and hacks for your veterinary software search!

Download our free eBook:
The Complete Buyer's Guide to Cloud-based Veterinary Software


Provet Cloud