Whitney Dettmer, DVM, is not crazy.
Though her habit of bucking conventional wisdom sometimes makes even her wonder, “Does what I’m about to do sound crazy?”
Take her decision to leave a stable job to open Kentucky Paws Animal Hospital during COVID. Or investing in gorgeous custom doors to create a welcoming environment, despite her contractor’s prediction that patients would destroy them. Embracing clinical trials to generate revenue—when no other practice in Kentucky had ever attempted such a thing. Or falling for a practice management software because of its clean, simple design, and her faith in the company behind it
Kentucky Paws stands out from the pack
“I’m always looking for things that set Kentucky Paws apart from other veterinary hospitals,” Whitney says. “We’re kind of an all-in-one center: we do surgery, dentistry, and wellness with a small, local hometown feel. I spend a lot of time with my clients, and I know a lot of them personally.”
Whitney’s commitment to that model and standing out from the pack informed dozens of the very deliberate decisions she made as a new practice owner. “People thought I was insane because I spent a lot of money on settings for the practice, like the custom doors and trim molding. But I wanted people to come in and have it feel like home: calming, relaxing and beautiful. And it's paid off because people really appreciate it.”
"I had come from a practice that still had paper records...Then I did a demo of Neo, and I kind of loved it."
The need: easy-to-use software for a small, nimble team
That passion for delivering an exceptional experience also informs how she trains and treats her staff. “Because we’re so small all the girls are cross trained to do everything,” Whitney says. “They are amazing, and I cannot do what I’m doing without them.”
Whitney’s appreciation for her team takes many forms: from food, bonuses and frequent thank-yous, to the tools and technology she equips them with. So, it makes sense that ease of use would be a top consideration when she was shopping for practice management software. The last thing she wanted was software that would complicate their jobs, put a barrier between them and their patients—or create stress that clients could see and feel.
“I had come from a practice that still had paper records,” Whitney says. She knew she wanted cloud-based software to facilitate electronic charting and the ability to work on mobile devices. Based on some Facebook sleuthing she homed in on a couple of the top cloud options. “Then I did a demo of Neo,” she says. “And I kind of loved it."
The solution: brilliantly simple Neo Software
"I really liked its aesthetic; Neo looked clean and user friendly.” That was a major selling point for this leader focused on making life easier for her team. As was seamless integration with the IDEXX Reference Laboratory and IDEXX in-house diagnostics to streamline ordering and reviewing results. “I’ve always used IDEXX’s in-house machines and felt comfortable being in a relationship with them,” she says. “And Neo’s pricing was very affordable.”
“As a startup and being kind of overwhelmed, I just wanted something simple that gave me the things I needed to run my practice,” she says. “Neo did all that.”
Fast, friendly support and built-in training
The first months of opening were kind of scary. “Neo Support saved me so many times by my being able to jump on Chat and ask, ‘how do I do this?’ They’re always very quick, very attentive, and very helpful.” Neo’s built-in training was also a life saver. “I was so overwhelmed I didn’t have time to sit down for two hours with each person.” Luckily, Neo took that responsibility off her shoulders. Its built-in training is also great for new hires. “They quickly learn how to do their job effectively,” she says, “so another team member doesn’t need spend time to train them.”
“As a startup and being kind of overwhelmed, I just wanted something simple that gave me the things I needed to run my practice. Neo did all that.”
Cloud flexibility for the multi-tasking owner
As a multi-tasking owner, the flexibility to access Neo anywhere lets her choose how to use her time. “I don’t always feel like staying after hours to work on my notes,” Whitney says, “so I can go home and input them while I’m sitting on my back patio. I’ve also been able to schedule appointments and review notes after hours in case of emergencies. It’s nice having everything in one place: medical records, lab results from IDEXX, radiographs, etc.
One-click workflows and worry-free payment processing
Day to day, Neo saves her team time with features like easy-to-use scheduling, and one-click access to patient records, procedure templates and estimates. Another common task that got the Neo treatment: taking payment. Instead of her team having to manually enter every charge into the credit card terminal, Neo sends it for them, then as soon as payment is received Neo records it as paid—automatically. “It’s one less thing I have to worry about, especially at the end of the day when everyone’s trying to close out,” Whitney says.
Backed by a team that listens
Another thing Whitney doesn’t worry about: software that keeps up with her needs. “Neo has been very, very good about enhancements and upgrades. I'm constantly getting notifications about what’s been added or changed.” When she was shopping for software, she saw a Facebook comment that Neo regularly released enhancements—and that the team behind it listened and responded to users. “That was one of the things that drew me to Neo,” she says. “Now I’m part of a beta for text reminders. I’ve really liked that!”
Advice from other users inspired her to look at Neo. “Now I always recommend it to people,” says Whitney, “especially startups in the online groups that I’m in.”
That doesn’t sound crazy at all.
See the brilliant simplicity of Neo for yourself: Get a free demo