Picture this: Your server goes down on a busy day (aren’t they all?). There’s no way to access your medical records for your next appointments. You begin fumbling through the visits, trying to remember what you recommended the last time you saw Fluffy and taking notes on paper. The server gets fixed by the end of the day, but you now have to stay late to enter your medical notes—after paying the IT guy (Jim, who you know by name because he just fixed your server not long ago) for the repairs.
As a veterinary practice that’s only operated with server-based management software, switching to a cloud-based program can seem like a big step. However, the transition is not as intimidating as you might think—plus, the cloud has many vet practice-friendly benefits.
While switching from server- to cloud-based veterinary software has a whole “host” of reasons, the following are some of the best benefits.
#1: Cloud-based veterinary software is more cost-effective than server-based software
Simply put, the cloud delivers computing services on-demand using a pay-as-you-go model. With the cloud, your monthly fees are based on your practice’s software needs and are therefore predictable. When setting up server-based software costs, you will have hefty upfront installation and hardware. Hardware and software upgrades needed down the road can cost a substantial amount, likely be unexpected, and negatively impact the practice budget. Cloud-based software operates on a subscription model and generally does not have unexpected fees. Also, the provider absorbed purchase, management, and replacement costs and distributed them across all users, making the fees almost non-existent.
Veterinary practices enjoy cloud-based software at an economical price, with no upfront installation or hardware fees. Plus, many providers offer deals that include a free trial period.
#2: Cloud-based vet software is accessible anywhere, anytime
Have you ever woken up in the middle of the night, agonizing over a case, wishing you could go back over the lab results and unearth a difficult diagnosis? With cloud-based software, you can access your patients’ medical records anywhere, at any time. If you have internet access, you can log into your practice’s software, look at that CBC again, review radiographs, make notes, add prescriptions, and tackle any other task you may want to handle immediately. Also, rather than staying late or heading back into the practice to finish your medical records for the day, you can complete them from the comfort of your home on a tablet or laptop.
#3: Cloud-based vet software is secure
As a veterinary professional, you handle sensitive information about your clients and patients. Unfortunately, most veterinary professionals are not IT wizards with extensive knowledge about encrypting files and keeping data safe. Luckily there are IT services that serve the veterinary industry specifically, such as Lucca Veterinary Data Security and I.T. Guru. These professionals recommend cloud-based veterinary software because of its enhanced security protocols.
Cyber security is complicated and ever-evolving, making constant server updates costly and tedious. Cloud-based software providers take responsibility for security management, usually deployed through software updates. IT specialists continue to advocate for cloud-based software programs because of existing data security measures already in place.
In addition, you don’t need to worry nearly as much about data loss with a cloud-based program. Your server sitting in the back room can be susceptible to power outages, fire, floods, and other disasters that could result in the irretrievable loss of all your data. The distribution of cloud-based resources means that if one server goes down, your practice’s data is not lost, and your service is not interrupted.
#4: Cloud-based vet software can easily be scaled to meet your needs
As your practice grows, your software must keep up with additional clients, patients, and users. With server-based software, you will need additional hardware, which can be pricey. Depending on the size of your practice and its needs, the cost to purchase, upgrade, and maintain servers can be vastly more than a cloud-based program that does not require a physical server. Cloud-based programs typically implement a pay-per-use or pay-per-user model that can easily be changed to meet practice demand changes, whether your practice grows or shrinks.
#5: Cloud-based vet software offers automatic updates
When you update your server-based software, your practice may need to halt operations during the update. Server updates can be long, tedious, and potentially difficult to implement without a hospital IT person. With cloud-based software, you no longer have to wait for the update loading bar to reach 100%. Cloud updates are automatic and fast, meaning your practice does not experience downtime. Also, you do not need a computer software background, nor does a team member need to oversee the update because the provider handles any technological snafus and ensures you have uninterrupted service. Woot Woot!
Changing the backbone of your veterinary practice is a significant change but can bring many benefits. Migrating from server- to cloud-based veterinary software can increase your practice’s efficiency and minimize software-driven headaches. To see how cloud-based software can make your team’s job much more manageable, schedule a demo with Shepherd Veterinary Software.