Mobile veterinary clinics face unique challenges when it comes to running their business and maintaining a sense of efficiency. Usually, they are spread thin, depending on the size of the vet’s service area(s) and appointment scheduling. Additionally, most mobile clinics have minimal or no support staff, meaning a lot of the administrative work falls to the veterinarian. A lot of mobile veterinarians can be inundated with client phone calls, reminding clients of appointments, capturing and manually entering all the client information, and then processing payment during the visit.
To address this problem, Next In Line has launched a new integration with Google Maps and enhanced our platform to help mobile practitioners better coordinate their schedules on the go.
While it might seem like online scheduling and allowing clients to schedule their appointments could mess up the schedule or make you spend more time in the car, Next In Line can be configured to create your schedule just how you want it.
How does online scheduling work for mobile veterinarians?
For example, if a vet does not want to travel more than a certain distance from his/her ‘home base’ or between appointments, that is easy to set up! By providing a home base address, our system then can determine how far each client and prospect are to that location, as well as other appointments on your schedule. From there, Next In Line can look at travel distance, best driving routes, and typical traffic patterns to determine the optimal date(s) for an appointment.
This navigation enables vets to spend less time commuting between appointments still maintain control over appointments. Taking this a step further, mobile veterinary clinics also can define specific schedules for particular service areas. If a vet does not want to be driving all over a given service region each day, it is possible to break that area out across different days of the week and different times during the day.
Let’s say a mobile veterinary sees a 30-mile radius around Denver, Colorado. Given the traffic, parking, and traffic lights, a vet might want to see clients downtown on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, and then visit more suburban locations on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Doing it this way enables vets to concentrate their appointments, which reduces back and forth driving and time spent in traffic. Vets still have the flexibility to override these rules, either for online booking or if a client calls looking for a more urgent appointment.
What are the benefits?
Once Next In Line is configured and implemented for mobile vets, it becomes an extension of the staff to reduce the amount of manual administrative tasks. The first form of automation helps with new client registration. When a new client books an appointment, Next In Line can create new client & patient records directly in practice management systems. By gathering all of a client’s information online and ahead of the appointment, this saves the vet from having to do so over the phone, or at the time of visit, and then manually enter all this information into the medical records.
Finally, Next In Line gives mobile vets the ability to capture deposits or payments at the time of booking. These deposits help protect vets in case a pet parent has to cancel or reschedule at the last minute, or is not at home for their appointment, which happens more often than one would think. This online booking and payment area also gives mobile vets the ability to enable clients to pay online without having to deal with cash or payments at the time of the visit, which can easily get forgotten during long or hectic appointments.
Overall, for a mobile vet, these processes can take 4-5 hours a week. By utilizing a specialized tool like Next In Line, this time is gained back to see more appointments or spend more time with family by not having to work late into the evenings.
If you would like to learn more or think Next In Line’s online booking and client communication platform might be a good fit for your mobile practice, please contact us today.