6 Ways Veterinary Practices Use Vetstoria to Maintain Control of Their Schedules

6 min read
Maintain control of your veterinary schedule with online booking

To be able to maintain control of their schedule is important for every veterinary practice manager or owner. Because each clinic is unique in how it’s run.

So, what does it mean to maintain control of your schedule?

  • Appointments are booked based on clinicians’ availability and your convenience.
  • Ample time is left for walk-ins, emergencies, or surgeries.
  • The right appointments are booked at the right time. (For example, if an appointment for a sick pet is scheduled later in the day, you would likely have to stay open late.)

This is why you might have the following concerns when adopting online booking for your practice.

  • “What if online scheduling overbooks our calendars?”
  • “What if we completely run out of the little time we have?”
  • “What if pet owners book the wrong type of appointment at the wrong time?”
  • “How can online booking mirror how my practice is run internally?”

We’ve addressed these very common concerns in our blog here. TL:DR Vetstoria offers numerous customizations and rules to ensure you have a say in the way you make your practice available to pet owners.

And that’s what we will cover in this post. 

Listen to Lilliana Mercado from Petsadena Animal Hospital talk about how Vetstoria’s customizations help her practice.

Pet owners make their online appointments based on your custom availability. It’s a win-win.

But how exactly does Vetstoria do this? And how does it help you maintain control?

Firstly, Vetstoria integrates with your Practice Management Software (PIMS or PMS), so the time slots you show to your customers align with what you want to offer. We integrate with over 20 PIMS, and you should be able to find yours here.

“The fact that it integrates with Cornerstone is a huge sell, and the various customizations you can do on the platform are great. Plus, it’s super easy to use!”

Lindsay Ward

– Lindsay Ward, Practice Manager at Bay Country Veterinary Hospital

So how can you further tailor appointments to your practice?

1. Maintain control by customizing appointment durations

AniCura, which boasts 350 locations across Northern and Western Europe, takes complete advantage of the various customizations and rules that Vetstoria offers. This includes personalizing appointment types, duration, clinician preference, time-slot blocking, and more.

“90% of bookings are 20-minute vaccinations and 30-minute ear checks. Monday and Friday afternoons are blocked for online booking so there’s flexibility for emergencies.”

– Libbe Soelbeck, Veterinary Nurse at AniCura Varde in Denmark

With this customization, pet owners don’t decide the duration of the appointment — you do. This is one of the ways they are able to maintain control of their diary.

2. Maintain control by excluding time slots you don’t want to offer

With this feature, you can add which times and dates you presume will be extremely busy, and block out a section of your schedule. So when pet owners want to book an appointment, these time slots you blocked or “excluded” don’t appear on Vetstoria.

Plus you may have noticed that AniCura blocks afternoons for emergencies. Using our “slot exclusions” feature, you can do this too. This is one of the ways they are able to maintain control of their diary.

Vetstoria's customizations help clinics maintain control of their schedule

3. Add a limit or a quota per appointment type or service you offer

With Vetstoria, you can configure “appointment types” based on the services you offer. This way, pet owners can select the reason for their appointment and you will be able to maintain control of the schedule.

With Vetstoria’s “maximum appointments” feature, you can specify how many appointments per appointment type you want to offer per day.

For example, if you want to offer a max of 10 vaccination appointment slots per day, pet owners also will need to choose from the 10 slots you offer. This is another way clinics can maintain control of their diaries.

Vetstoria's different appointment settings help clinics maintain control of their schedule

4. Maintain control by holding enough time between appointments

Vetstoria offers a feature called “gap to the earliest slot.” This helps to reserve enough time in between appointments. For example, if you want to leave enough room before an appointment for the patient to arrive, you would want to leave a considerable amount of time between appointments – preventing the pet owner from booking an appointment that either they won’t be able to make in time, or that you won’t have enough time to prepare for. Utilizing the “gap to earliest slot” feature is a great way to maintain control of your diary.

5. Use appointment screening to triage emergencies

In most cases, your front-desk team has to think on their feet to decide whether an appointment request is an emergency that requires immediate attention.
With Vetstoria’s appointment screening capabilities, you can add keywords that indicate an emergency (such as bleeding, vomiting, etc.). When pet owners mention these terms as a reason for their visit, they are notified to call the clinic instead. By automating which appointments should be treated as emergencies, this feature makes it easy for a practice to maintain control and saves time for your team.

Read how Bay Country Veterinary Hospital uses Vetstoria to screen their appointments and maintain control of their diary.

6. Reduce no-shows with online payments

No-shows are an awful waste of time. Adding online payments can help you control the number of no-shows your practice will have to cope with. With Vetstoria’s online payments, payment collection happens automatically after pet owners book their appointments online — like online shopping.

Veterinarian using vetstoria's online booking to maintain control of their schedule

Stokewood Veterinary Centre reduced their rate of no-shows by 100% by using online payments. After paying in advance (full payment or deposit), the pet owner would be sure to arrive for their appointment, and your team can reduce the amount of time they spend collecting payments. This is another way your team are able to maintain control of your diary.

Bonus: Options for managing new clients effectively

There’s a lot you can do to provide services to new clients based on your capacity. Here are some ways you can leverage Vetstoria to help you.

  1. Set which appointment types to make available for new clients.
  2. Adjust the duration for new clients as well as the number of appointments you offer a day. (See “maximum appointments.”)
  3. Enable the new-client form to automate data collection. You can even enable “previous vet details,” so all this information is collected during online booking.

These are a few popular ones, but there’s a lot more to unpack.

To be able to maintain control is key for your practice, which is why 6,000 practices globally have chosen to use Vetstoria. Want to explore other features that can help your clinic? Book your demo now!