A kind of music greets you as you walk through the door at Family Pet Health Center in Mattawan, Michigan. A chorus of barks from canine patients. The call and response of staff and clients greeting each other. A screechy violin-like solo from a constipated Persian. And in exam 2, Dr. Kathy Vought sings to a timid Pittie/Coonhound who’s in for her wellness visit.
“If a dog is upset, Dr. Kathy will literally get on the floor and make up a song about that dog on the spot to put them at ease,” says Family’s practice manager Lori Anthony. “I hear over and over again from clients that the love and care their pets feel is why they come here.”
That passion for making pets, clients and staff feel cared for is baked into Family Pet Health Center’s DNA. And it helps explain why Lori Anthony chose a software that makes her feel like she’s part of the family.
Server-based software kept staff from staying in tune
Lori joined Family Pet Health Center as business manager in 2015. Though it was her first job in veterinary medicine, she quickly rose to the challenge of improving practice operations with an eye toward eventually positioning the practice for acquisition. Staffing to maximize efficiency was one area of focus. Family is now a three-doctor practice, with each doctor assisted by a team comprised of 2 receptionists, 4 technicians, and 4 assistants.
Ensuring her staff has the right tools and technology was another priority. And Lori realized thatFamily’s server-based practice management software was making it difficult for practice staff to all stay in tune.
“It was very clumsy and not user friendly,” she says. “It made me crazy trying to figure stuff out.” Her staff were just as frustrated by how much time they wasted fighting with the software. Dwindling support and upgrades finally convinced Lori it was time to start shopping.
The search for cloud software that’s easy to use
Cloud-based software topped her wish list, so that she or her doctors could easily check on work or patient cases when they weren’t at the office. Ease of use came in an extremely close second.
“I did lots of Internet research,” Lori says. “I reached out to other vet practices to see what they used. And I did a lot of demos to see what I liked.” After evaluating her options, the choice was clear.
All the features in an incredibly simple design
“Hands down, Neo was the best,” Lori says. It delivered all the features she needed with the ease of working in the cloud. And she was confident that the incredibly simple design would be a breath of fresh air for her and her staff. “I looked at our current software and then looked at Neo and thought, ‘we need this because I hate this.’”
While Lori was sold on Neo, her staff was singing a different tune. “When I told them we were going to change I heard a lot of groans and moans,” she says. “But I’ll tell you what: they absolutely loved Neo.”
That started as soon as the conversion process kicked off. “With Neo we had a project manager in our corner who didn’t just help us move our data, they made sure anyone who had questions got very quick, responsive answers,” says Lori. “We really appreciated how much handholding they did.” And that didn’t end when the switch was complete.
When I told [my staff] we were going to change I heard a lot of groans and moans... But I’ll tell you what: they absolutely loved Neo.
Backed by friendly, responsive people
“Tech support was very responsive and remains very responsive,” she says. “I worked with one person who every time I called would say ‘hey Lori, how are you doing?’ It made me feel like ‘yay, I got you again.’”
Lori says it took about three weeks for her staff to become fully immersed in Neo. The learning curve is even shorter for new hires now, thanks to the built-in Neo University training. The hands-on, guided tutorials help staff quickly get up to speed on their own. “We just hired a relief vet in her 80s, and she’s not techy,” says Lori. “I gave her a username and password to try Neo, and she figured it out all by herself.”
Less work, more flow
While Neo’s ability to simplify onboarding and training earned Lori’s respect, what turned her into a superfan is the way Neo’s “less work, more flow” approach makes it easier for her team to deliver high-quality care. One of her favorite examples is how Neo streamlines ordering and reviewing diagnostic—something her staff does dozens of times a day.
“Shortly after we started with Neo we got IDEXX urinalysis and blood analyzers, as well as digital X-ray,” Lori says. “Having the results seamlessly flow into the patient record is a huge time-saver. I can have a tech take an X-ray and the doctor can be sitting in her office, pull up Neo and bang, there’s the X-ray. I had extremely high expectations for how Neo would integrate with our IDEXX diagnostics and they’ve definitely been fulfilled.”
We just hired a relief vet in her 80s, and she’s not techy... I gave her a username and password to try Neo, and she figured it out all by herself.
Giving credit card processing the Neo treatment
Taking payment is another task her staff performs throughout the day. “With Neo it’s just so easy,” Lori says. “It sends the payment to the credit card terminal for you, and as soon as payment is received Neo marks it as paid. There’s never any double data entry. At the end of the day I don’t have to worry about batch processing or sorting by card type. Switching merchant accounts can be a big hassle, but Neo made that easy too.”
A say in what’s next for Neo
Frequent updates that install automatically and the ability to suggest new features are two more reasons Lori is so happy with Neo. “I love the way that every day something is happening, and that they listen and are moving in the direction customers want to go.”
Lori’s a veteran beta tester for Neo, most recently for new appointment confirmation features she says are already saving her front desk a couple hours a day. She’s also submitted several enhancement requests to the Neo Idea Portal. “I get so excited when I get an email that says, ‘your request is now in queue for development.’ And it’s fun to go on the Portal to see what other people are suggesting and vote for their ideas.”
Lori’s staff gets as excited as she does about what’s next for Neo. “I watched the last Neo user webinar when I was out of town, where they showed updates to the Consultation page. I immediately texted our front desk, ‘Tell everybody they’re going to be really excited about what I just learned!’”
That shared sense of excitement and community attracted Lori to the IDEXX Neo User group on Facebook. “I enjoy seeing what other people have to say about Neo,” she says, whether that’s fellow practice managers, owners, or members of the Neo product team. “Sometimes there are people on there who are struggling. If I have an answer, I like to share it.”
If a colleague at another practice was considering Neo, what would Lori say? “I get asked that all the time. And I always tell them ‘sign up today!’”
Thank you, Lori: that’s music to our ears.
See the brilliant simplicity of Neo for yourself: Get a free demo