“It’s nice for people in every area of the practice to know they’re appreciated, and that without them we couldn’t really function.”
Bury St. Edmunds Veterinary Centre opened its small-animal clinic in 2019, serving clients in several surrounding communities. They chose Provet Cloud for its intuitive ease of use, key automations, and adaptability to their practice’s specific needs. And with Provet Cloud’s client communication tools, they’ve nurtured a culture of trust and positive support that has paid dividends in staff morale and practice growth.
"How hard can it be?"
Dr. Jenny Reason, co-owner and operator of Bury St. Edmunds Veterinary Centre, remembers when she and Dr. Carly Day decided it was time to open their own practice. Motivated by the idea of being their own bosses – and of being truly independent – they could set their own priorities and “make their own care decisions and just do what’s right for the patient at that time.” So how hard can it be?
“Turns out it can be quite hard, but also immensely rewarding” says Jenny.
Within a year of opening, Covid hit. And like so many clinics around the world, they were forced to adapt to strict safety protocols, increased workload, and a shift in how to stay connected with their clients.
But choosing Provet Cloud as their practice management software gave Jenny and Carly many of the tools they needed to grow their business in a pandemic – and through it discovered a secret to creating happy clients that also fostered a happy veterinary team.
“We knew we could get Provet Cloud to work how we wanted it to work.”
Jenny says they didn’t need long to decide on a software to run their practice. From their first encounter with the cloud-based system, she found Provet Cloud to be intuitively designed and that it wouldn’t be difficult to teach her team how to use.
In addition to its standard functions – appointments, client registration, patient record updates – Provet Cloud’s larger benefits emerged in the course of the clinic’s software training and implementation period. With a focus on setting up automated reminders and creating templated messaging, such as discharge instructions, Bury St. Edmunds embedded time-saving efficiencies into its practice from the start.
“If you spend the time setting things up correctly,” Jenny says, “it does save you a lot in the long run.”
“With more automation, you can save more time; and with more time, you take a lot of stress off the staff.”
Automated client communications through Provet Cloud proved to be a crucial link between client satisfaction and team morale.
“Most complaints come from a breakdown in communication with clients,” says Jenny. “What we’ve really liked about Provet Cloud is that you can automatically send post-consult emails” – which can include as much information as needed: lab results, clinical notes, discharge and medication instructions, a copy of the invoice, and an invitation for client feedback.
That invitation for client feedback has yielded surprising results.
When a client submits feedback, a notification comes in to the veterinarian or nurse who saw the patient and can be viewed by everyone on staff. “There’s a lot of reluctance in our profession to invite feedback,” says Jenny, “because people are scared it’s going to be negative. But the vast majority of those who use veterinary services rate their clinics well. And in fact, we have found most people to be super happy in their consultation feedback.”
“It’s really nice that everyone on staff can see the positive feedback – a constant reminder that people do respect and like what we do.”
Jenny thinks it’s too easy to forget that most clients are supportive, and that inviting their feedback can prevent staff from feeling isolated from that support.
As it turns out, she says, it’s not only veterinarians at Bury St. Edmunds who feel the love: recently a client sent flowers to thank one of the receptionists for her compassion during a difficult visit. “It’s nice for members in every area of the practice to know they’re appreciated, and that without them we couldn’t really function.”
[See also: 5 ways to boost veterinary employee morale]
Three years and countless happy client reviews later, Jenny can draw a direct connection between positive (or even critical) dialogue with clients and staff retention:
“We’ve not lost a single clinical team member since we opened.”
“Provet Cloud is always being updated and improved, and it’s always easy to learn.”
A growing, ever-busier clinic places higher demands on its practice management software, and expects that software to evolve alongside it. This has been true of Bury St. Edmunds’ experience with Provet Cloud.
Jenny admits, “There is no completely perfect system, as with anything. That’s why there are multiple ways to fix a cruciate ligament in a dog. No one has found the procedure that works perfectly across all types of dogs, so improvements are always striven for. It’s the same with practice management systems.”
But the difference with Provet Cloud, she says, is its adaptability, continuous state of improvement, and responsive support team. “It has changed quite a lot in three years.”
Steady growth – now with five veterinarians, seven registered veterinary nurses, one student veterinary nurse, two nursing assistants, and a front-house team of six looking after 3,700 clients and more than 6,000 pets – puts Bury St. Edmunds in the mindset of expansion.
All those good reviews are drawing in clients who live more than an hour away. “So we have a new veterinarian and nursing assistant starting this summer, and we want to open a second location where we know we already have a good number of patients nearby – once we can find a premises, that is!”