Welcome Change: Preparing Your Veterinary Team for a PIMS Switch

Wednesday, Apr 10, 2024 by Cindy Barnes, DVM, CVSMT
3 Min Read
Welcome Change: Preparing Your Veterinary Team for a PIMS Switch

Is the sun going down on your veterinary practice information management software (PIMS)? With the recent news that IDEXX is no longer supporting popular software, including Cornerstone Cloud and DVMax, many veterinary practices are scrambling to make an unplanned switch.

Hope remains on the horizon, however, as the opportunity exists to add a new and perhaps more compatible software that includes up-to-date features and integrations. A new PIMS lights the way toward a brighter future that offers greater efficiency, productivity, and satisfaction among your team. Help your practice team members prepare for a smooth and successful software switch by following our six tips.

#1: Talk with your veterinary team

Gather your team to discuss the upcoming switch to new software and detail the implications. Setting clear expectations for the onboarding process—including anticipated training commitments and scheduling changes, along with the likelihood of a few challenges and errors along the way—can help your team accept and embrace the impending change.

You can further increase your team’s cooperation by drawing attention to the ways this switch will enhance their daily work. Modern features, such as helpful automations, an intuitive design that supports efficient workflows, and the latest integrations, can help your team feel energized and invested during the transition.

#2: Start the training process early

 As soon as you’ve selected a PIMS, find out how to access software training. Most PIMS platforms provide self-paced online training modules that your team members can use to understand each of the new software’s functions and features. Carve out time for each team member to participate in training and check in regularly to confirm their participation and comprehension, and to address any concerns.

In addition to online training, a software representative should be part of your team’s onboarding process. Plan ahead to schedule this vital training and ensure your team’s availability. One-on-one training with a software expert can help you and your team talk through common scenarios, anticipate and troubleshoot possible challenges, and gain confidence with your new software—preparing everyone for a successful launch. 

#3: Determine if your veterinary team’s schedule should be changed for the onboarding and data migration process

Find out your chosen PIMs onboarding and data migration process to determine whether you should make the switch on a day you’re normally closed or if additional closures or half-days are necessary. If closing your veterinary facility isn’t practical, consider limiting appointments or procedures for several days to ease your team’s workload and provide more time for learning.

#4: Notify clients about upcoming changes and improvements

You can head off your clients’ potential frustration and questions by notifying pet owners about the upcoming transition. Reach the broadest audience by using multiple client communication methods, including lobby and exam room signage, email newsletters, website banners, social media, on-hold recordings, and text messaging. Frame these announcements in a positive, client-centered light by using the switch as an example of your commitment to continuous improvement and convenient service. Tease any exciting features that will directly impact your clients such as more efficient check-in and checkout procedures, online pet portals, online or in-app scheduling, chat functions, remote payment, or loyalty program integrations.

#5: Create an in-house tech team

Although ongoing technical support is a hallmark of any high-quality practice management software, having someone on staff who can champion the product and provide day-to-day assistance and troubleshooting helps expedite the training process and builds confidence within your veterinary team. If one or more team members demonstrate a higher level of comfort during the initial software training, ask them to serve as in-house support. When team members know they can bring their software questions and concerns to a peer—rather than to a software company representative or remote tech support personnel—they may be more likely to be open about their challenges or struggles. As a result, the entire team experiences greater understanding, utilization, and efficiency.

#6: Continued training and check-ins for veterinary team confidence and competency

With practice management software, learning is endless. After you launch your new PIMS, check in regularly with your veterinary team, observe common workflows, and provide additional support and training opportunities. Ask individual team members for feedback and suggestions about what’s working and not working with the software. This ensures you can identify early problems or training gaps before they become serious issues that impact productivity, morale, or profits. Finally, each time you add a new integration to your PIMS, provide your team with additional training so they understand the purpose and use of each feature, tool, or service.

Learning that your trusted veterinary practice management software is no longer being supported can feel like a loss. But considering the advantages of new, updated software can help you and your team ride off into the proverbial sunset with a more powerful and practical solution that better suits your needs. 

Ready to learn how Shepherd Veterinary Software’s intuitive, cloud-based platform can give your team more time to care for pets and experience the joy and fulfillment that comes along with it? Fill out this simple form to schedule a demo.

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