The power of the integrated practice
Susan Warren: We're here today to discuss practice integration. You all have your own experiences. How do you define an integrated practice?
Dr. Buddy Fletcher: One in which you can see everything from one spot—which animals are checked in, their medical records, current radiographs or laboratory work, laboratory work from previous visits, pathologist or radiologist reports, referral surgeon reports, and so on. In an integrated practice, a doctor or team member can go to any workstation and see a complete patient picture easily and quickly.
Dr. Donald Earl: Business management info is also integrated into the same system. Financial and inventory data is all in one place and tracked automatically so you can see the complete practice picture too.
Dr. Jason St. Romain: We've integrated two locations. Everything that was just mentioned is available at both clinics, so we don't have to fax back and forth. We can do everything off a single screen and know what's going on at either practice.
The Integrated Practice: A roundtable discussion
Dr. Lynn Buzhardt: The biggest benefit for us is the ability to communicate contemporaneously between hospitals.
Kathy Bradfield: Practice integration has helped us communicate better with specialists because we can send records and radiographs to specialty hospitals faster.
Lynne Schroeder: This helps eliminate duplicate efforts and increases productivity.
Warren: So an integrated practice is one that can be both high-touch and high-tech?
K. Bradfield: An integrated system certainly adds a "wow factor" to your medicine, which is the high-tech part of it. Your clients can see what you are talking about right in the exam room.
Fletcher: I agree. The value of a dental prophylaxis, for example, is so much easier to communicate to clients. You can show the client before-and-after pictures, radiographs, and diagrams of teeth you treated right in the exam room. It increases the value of good medicine and makes the cost of dental care more palatable.
Case study: Snuffys emergency
Dr. John Bulovas: It also builds client confidence and loyalty. If they see that everything is working and organized, they feel assured that everything goes well all the time, even when they're not there. They develop more confidence in your ability and your recommendations.