Inside AAHA: January 2022
View from the Board
Test-Drive Your Software Features
Much like how we only use a portion of our brain, many of us only use a small portion of our practice management software’s abilities. But there’s always room for growth, right? Regardless of what practice information management system (PIMS) you use, I would be willing to bet there are features you don’t use that could improve efficiency or accuracy. When my practice went to electronic records in 2005, it was—at first—a glorified invoice system that had some SOAP notes attached to it. Over the past 16 years, though, we have grown into using more of the features and generally find that they make our work simpler. While we don’t find all the features helpful, the only way to discover what works is to try them all!
I recommend everyone step outside of their comfort zone and experiment with different features periodically to see what sticks and what doesn’t. For example, I wouldn’t know what to do if my practice did not rely on the inventory feature to let us know if something is expiring or when we are running low on something. It took some time to get it set up properly, but now that it works, my staff and I save hours every month not having to chase things down or worry about running out of an important drug because we didn’t realize we needed to order more.
A few more benefits of utilizing electronic medical records are that they are easier to send to specialists and we are not reliant upon someone being able to read our handwriting. People in the medical professions are not known for our penmanship, so typing records is more accurate and easier for others to read. In addition, many PIMSs have features that allow frequently typed notes or instructions to be added to the medical record with shortcut keys, saving valuable time and minimizing typographical errors. Another benefit of electronic records is that they are easier to back up in case of disaster. With fires, floods, hurricanes, and other natural disasters occurring, it is a weight off my mind to have my practice’s records kept on a backup drive or off-site.
For those of us who like to get nerdy with our numbers, utilizing our PIMS to create reports or track whatever key performance indicators you are interested in is an added benefit. You can also track diagnoses, the number of times you have ordered certain tests, and so much more.
The sky is the limit when it comes to tracking different data points.
Whatever system you employ, see if there are aspects you are not using that could make your life easier. No system is perfect, but the only way to improve it is to try out new features. There’s no time like the present to improve efficiencies, and I would be willing to bet that there is something in your software that will help you do just that..
Scott Driever, DVM, is a director on the AAHA board. Driever is a Houston native who received his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from Texas A&M University in 2000. He began his career at Animal Hospital Highway 6 in Sugarland, Texas, where he became a partner in 2005 and purchased the practice in 2015. He is a member of the American Veterinary Medical Association, the Texas Veterinary Medical Association, the International Veterinary Academy of Pain Management, the American Association of Feline Practitioners, and the Harris County Veterinary Medical Association.
AAHA’s Board Wants YOU to Apply!
Scott Driever, DVM, believed in AAHA’s purpose so much that he wanted to help the association any way he could. He applied for a role on a committee. “I did not intend to be a board member per se, I just wanted to help,” Driever said. “The individuals on the board planted that seed and asked why I didn’t throw my hat in the ring. Having those board members ask me that question started the ball rolling. They saw something in me that I didn’t see in myself.”
Driever is a Houston native who received his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from Texas A&M University in 2000. He has owned Animal Hospital Highway 6 in Sugar Land, Texas, since 2015. He joined the AAHA Board of Directors in 2020. Read his View from the Board letter on page 10 of this issue. Now entering his second year on the board, would he recommend others apply? You bet.
“You get to help a phenomenal association in a direct way, and do so with some amazing humans that become friends,” he said. To be eligible for the board, you must have been a member of the association for at least three years immediately preceding election. In addition, any member who has an ownership interest in a veterinary practice must have an ownership interest in an AAHA-accredited practice.
Other than that, the only requirement is for directors to be committed to AAHA’s mission and objectives. The board aims to reflect a range of skills and diversity in thought, geography, and practice types. Who does Driever hope applies? “People who are passionate about helping practices achieve veterinary excellence.”
“If you are an AAHA member and are interested in helping, but think that is something ‘others’ do, step up,” he said. “Having people stand on the sidelines does not improve organizations. If you are interested, reach out. You are who we are looking for!”
To learn more and apply to the AAHA Board of Directors, visit aaha.org/leadership.
The deadline for applications to the 2022–2023 AAHA Board of Directors is February 25.
Do you have any recommendations for how to stay current with OSHA safety requirements??
—Safety in Santa Fe
Creating a safe work environment for your team, patients, clients, and yourself is one of the most important responsibilities of being a practice leader. We recommend providing an annual safety training and routinely checking alignment with OSHA standards (osha.gov). Rather than one big training, keep safety topics top of mind with your whole team by covering one or two training topics at the beginning of each monthly staff meeting. All you need to do to meet the OSHA documentation requirement is to have a written agenda and maintain an attendance sign-in record. Reach out to your AAHA practice consultant or accreditation specialist and ask for recommendations on more specific safety training resources.
—AAHA’s Member Experience Team
Have a question you’d like AAHA to answer? Email us at [email protected].
AAHA Meetings and Events
AAHA is closely monitoring developments related to COVID-19 and we will continue to follow recommended public health guidelines leading up to all scheduled AAHA events.
DEVTP classes begin
Veterinary Management Institute
February 12-13, March 12-13
Beyond Medicine Workshop
January 22, February 5
Photo credits: Photo courtesy of Pam Nichols