Auditing Your Client Communication Capabilities — “Up to Speed” or “Upgrade Needed”?

We may think we have the right client communication tools in place.  But, many practices have gaps they don’t realize are limiting their capability to boost patient health and client satisfaction.

If you’re like most veterinary hospitals, clinics and group, you probably think your client communication systems are “Up to Speed”.  After all, it came recommended by your distributor or it’s one of the widely known systems.  And, you compared and knew that when you put it in, it was “one of the best available”.

However, you are paying a sizable monthly fee.   It may be time to do a fresh look.  Most client communication systems now have noticeable shortcomings, that are not readily visible.  The health of your patients, the happiness of your clients and the financial performance of your communication are at stake… not to mention the extra workload on your staff!

So, here is a basic audit list of the capabilities you should be able to have, and at a lower monthly cost (and with better health outcome and a higher ROI, revenue return for every dollar spent)

Note which benefits and capabilities are most important for your practice.

Reminder Communications

  • Are they designed for optimum response and patient compliance?
    • All four channels for little more cost than postcards alone — email, postcards, text and push notices in the pet portal app. (some practice try to drop postcards … but postcards reach everybody and have the highest impact and highest revenue generation for the money spent)
    • Breed and pet-specific photos for impact, Branded for your practice.
    • Timing coordinated and optimized for highest awareness and response
    • Can the client use a one-click link directly to request an appointment? (QR on the card)
    • Can the client use a one-click link/QR to go directly to their pet portal page/app? (no install or login)
    • Are the postcards large format to stand out above the phone bill?
    • Are the vaccine and service descriptions client-friendly, using the wording the practice uses?
  • How much are you paying?
    • Is there a Monthly Fee ? _______
    • Cost per card? ________    is this for:  ___ small format (6 x 4)   or  ___ large format (8.5 x 5.5)
    • What is your reminder revenue per dollar spent?

Pet Portal/ Client App

  • Can ALL clients easily get to their pet information? (or only those who install the app)
    • Can they get in directly anytime, from every reminder… without a login?
    • Do the pet portal and app look/work the same? (or does the client have to learn 2 systems)
    • Is the interface intuitive or does the user have to go to multiple screens to get to the different information?
  • Is the information in the portal/app complete?
    • Is Request an Appointment readily available, right at the front screen?
    • Is Emergency Information readily available, right at the front screen?
    • Is Practice contact information, messaging, directions, hours, etc. readily available?
    • Is it customizable and feature the Practice logo and brand colors?
    • Are all pets available on one screen, each with its own info?
      • Vaccines/Services on file, current/past due, next due date
      • Visit History
      • Medication list and easy link to request a refill
      • Lab Results
      • Pet ID
      • Practice Standard of Care Recommendations and what is missing for a given patient
      • Vaccines/Services, appointments currently-due alerts, itemized on the front screen
    • Extra Capabilities
      • Can the practice send push notifications to: ð all clients    ð particular targeted clients
      • Can the client upload new photos for their pets?
      • Can the practice add custom “promotional” message on the front screen to prompt for a particular service?   Does the message have link capabilities?
      • Are there customizable links to other resources? (e.g. online store, resource pages on the practice website, new client forms, social media links, CareCredit/ScratchPay, etc.)
      • Is there an easy on-boarding for the practice staff, and a roll-out process personalized for each client?
  • How much are you paying?
    • Is there a Monthly Fee ? _______ , or
    • Is the portal/app included at no charge?

Missing Preventive Care Vaccines/Services

  • Does your Communications Provider Spot and Fill Gaps in Your Preventive Care Reminders? (identifying for each patient missing a reminder for one of the core/advised vaccines and services recommended by the practice’s standard of care)
    • Are these automatically added to the patient’s reminder (e.g. as “also recommended”)
    • Are these incorporated into the portal/app, so the client can see what preventive care is recommended, and which vaccines/services are currently not yet set up.
    • Is information provided to the client on each vaccine/service to explain why that preventive care item is important to the health of a patient
    • Can the messaging on the reminders be customized to provide targeted preventive care educational information?

Easier, More Effective Client Communication

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