Pets, like their owners, need specialized care from time to time, but the referral system used by one major network of pet care providers needed care itself. The medical records didn’t always follow the client, and often the records got duplicated in the process. VCA, one of the largest pet healthcare companies in the US, wanted to streamline referrals across more than 800 of its veterinary hospitals. The company turned to a Microsoft Gold certified Partner which created a cloud-native app on Microsoft Azure that solved the messy referrals problem.
VCA provides veterinary services, laboratory diagnostics, imaging equipment, medical technology, and pet care services.
“We’ve been developing analytics solutions and veterinary software for more than a decade,” says Adam Lind, vice president of software development for VCA. “Clinics are increasingly moving to the cloud for ease of deployment and for better data security, so we bagin pursuing a cloud-based solution.”
As VCA expanded, it recognized the need to improve the practice management software (PMS) used in its network of pet care facilities. The PMS software connects the medical teams and office staff, and it drives continuity of care for pets and their owners. However, the connection didn’t fully extend to referrals. A client would get a referral to a specialty hospital, and the hospital staff typically reentered that data, causing duplication within the system. In addition, there was no automated way to communicate a client’s status back to the organization that provided the referral.
VCA turned to their Microsoft Gold Partner. Working together, they decided on the best approach to meet the following objectives:
-Make it easy for staff and doctors to make a referral
-Maintain an up-to-date list of the specialty clinics, organization, and doctors who are part of the referral network
-Automate the transfer of patient records from a hospital or organization to a specialty clinic within the Mars Petcare network.
-Improve communication between the specialty clinics and the source of the referral.
The MSP IT company was able to utilize Azure to create a cloud-based solution that while providing scale, met present-day and future demands on the system. The new application worked seamlessly with the existing PMS application. The new architecture solves the duplication problem that VCA was having under the old, manual referral process, and it automates communications between hospitals.
The extension of the PMS software to the cloud has been a great success, giving the company the flexibility to expand its services without a big investment in additional servers. Most importantly, the solution has improved communications for the veterinary hospitals and clients.
“The automation is saving the office staff so much time, and the level of care is better now that we’re assured the records are up to date, no matter where the care is given. The new system on Azure is even better than we expected. It’s had a huge impact on our business and operations.” -Adam Lind, Vice President Software Development at VCA