Digital Record keeping: The Key to Efficient Veterinary Practice Management

Written by Angela Beal, DVM
veterinary software

Patient records play a central role in every veterinary practice, and how those records are formatted can have an enormous impact on your team’s efficiency and productivity. Digital recordkeeping (i.e., electronic medical records) can enhance practice workflows by improving information access and accuracy and saving precious time. Learn some key ways digital record keeping can optimize your team’s efficiency while enhancing patient and client care.

Reliable veterinary templates and formatting ensure thoroughness

While paper-based charting systems may include various templates, such as body maps and stickers, digital records can help drive thorough and complete documentation by providing dedicated windows, auto-generated pick lists, or tabs for specific inputs and information. As users enter patient data in the relevant fields, software can prompt additional data to ensure the chart is complete. In many cases, the record can be completed before the end of the visit—saving busy veterinarians from late nights and chart backlogs.

This organized and systematic design, along with increased legibility, also ensures that others can access this information quickly and easily. Rather than flipping through the pages of a paper chart and scanning illegible or shorthand writing for critical patient information, viewers can quickly locate and retrieve the necessary data.

Cloud-based accessibility enhances veterinary collaboration

With the ability to share patient records with a single click, digital records free your administrative team from endless printing, scanning, and faxing. This streamlined shareability ensures effective patient and client care by creating additional time for one-on-one interactions, and for pets at emergency or referral facilities, can help accelerate and enhance diagnosis and treatment by providing quick access to precise patient information.

Within the veterinary clinic or remotely, cloud-based digital records allow multiple users to access the record at once. Digital records make entering or checking charges, updating patient notes, modifying care orders, or reviewing the latest lab results easy—without needing to wait for or track down a missing patient chart.

Diagnostic integrations streamline veterinary lab requests and results

When integrated with your diagnostic equipment and external reference laboratory, your veterinary team can quickly request testing, print requisition forms, and review test status and results from a central screen. These small adjustments eliminate the back-and-forth that often accompanies in-house testing, ensuring your team can focus on the patient and review results as soon as they become available, with no more hovering around the machine.

Updated technology illustrates your commitment to quality veterinary care

Clients appreciate transparency and efficiency regarding their pet’s health care. Digital records enable veterinarians to provide their clients with instant access to their pets’ records, prescription and vaccine history, and other practical medical information. This trust and convenience—enhanced by other features that commonly accompany digital records such as a pet portal, two-way chat, refill requests, and online scheduling—empowers clients to take ownership of their pets’ health, creating a strong connection and relationship with the veterinary team. In turn, client engagement and compliance improves, leading to more efficient communications and appointments.

Digital veterinary records reduce your global footprint and enhance your floor plan

With digital records stored securely in the cloud or on servers, veterinary practices can reclaim valuable floor space previously occupied by storage such as bulky cabinets and file racks. Replacing paper-based records with digital charts not only contributes to a greener, more sustainable business model but also creates opportunities for a more efficient and intuitive workflow as you repurpose the new space for optimal functionality.

Enhanced security ensures veterinary patient and client information stays private and safe

Digital records are not only easier to store but easier to protect. Data encryption, surveillance, user authentication, and regular backups ensure private information is safe against cyber threats and always up-to-date. Professional monitoring and IT support free the veterinary management team from the burden of protecting patient and client information from cyber threats, while going digital eliminates physical threats such as flood, fire, theft, or other loss.

The switch to a digital record keeping system can be a powerful shift in how you manage your practice and how your team provides care, offering significant benefits that positively impact efficiency and workflow. By streamlining accessibility, organization, and data retrieval, digital patient records empower veterinary teams to deliver coordinated care while minimizing errors and redundancies and saving valuable time. Enhanced communication and collaboration, coupled with improved client experiences and compliance, further solidify the advantages—and worthwhile effort—of making the leap from paper-based charting to a digital or cloud-based system.