Why Your Veterinary Practice Needs Real-time Online Booking

12 min read
why your veterinary practice needs real-time online booking

Table of Contents

What is real-time veterinary scheduling software?

Real-time online booking is scheduling software that has a live integration between your booking system and practice management system (PIMS) so that when a pet owner books an appointment via your website, the slot is booked instantly in the PIMS (and vice versa) without manual intervention from your team.

A pet owner using real-time online booking

Since the introduction of automated bookings, there are two methods of booking appointments. One is known as direct bookings, which happens in real-time and gives pet owners immediate confirmation of their booking. Indirect bookings however, are appointments requests, where the front desk staff will need to check and manually confirm appointments. In this blog, we will emphasize why direct bookings, or ‘real-time online bookings’ can help your practice become efficient.

Here are some benefits of why your practice needs to start using a real-time online booking scheduling software like Vetstoria.


Create appointment types to streamline processes

A digital scheduling solution like Vetstoria allows you to create customizable appointment types. You can add your services as “appointment types” as they sync with your PIMS in real time and you can choose to either “enable” or “disable” these based on the client type (new or returning) or depending on how busy you get.  

For example, you can create appointment types for vaccination, routine check, surgery etc.  You can also exclude pets you don’t wish to treat for certain appointments and set appointment durations for each.

By offering a full array of appointments that are tailored to doctor preferences and availability, you can ensure that pet owners will have a clear understanding of what appointment to book.

Vetstoria's real-time online booking platform for veterinarians

Leverage appointment screening to manage emergencies

Appointment screening is one of Vetstoria’s popular features, which allows you to add keywords. These keywords usually imply an emergency and will trigger specific actions to alert pet owners.

To learn more about appointment screening read our article: Appointment Screening: The Easy Way To Manage Emergencies Online

Edit your real-time online booking settings
Vetstoria’s fully customizable real-time online booking platform

Improve practice efficiency with real-time online booking

We’ve all known how a day at the practice goes; constantly answering phone calls, sending reminders, sorting payments, etc. This can reach hectic levels with an influx of pet owners in the clinic. 

By enabling real-time online booking (e.g. Vetstoria), you can operate your practice more efficiently and prioritize emergencies and sensitive appointments. Additionally, your team can see the daily patient schedule on the PIMS, making it easier to arrange staff to handle appointments accordingly.

Vetstoria's real-time online booking platform

Display helpful messages during appointment booking

Vetstoria’s real-time online booking also allows you to display helpful messages during the appointment-booking process using a feature called disclaimers. Disclaimers, which are completely customizable, tell pet owners what to expect during the online booking process, notifying them of relevant details, such as:

  • Consultation fees.
  • Request to provide the pet’s health records at the time of the appointment.
  • COVID-19 or other health precautions.

Disclaimers can be used to display messages throughout the entire booking process to guide pet owners during the booking process, ensuring they fill in the correct information based on the requirements of the practice.

Below is an example of how a disclaimer would look for a new client during the booking process.

Vetstoria's real-time online booking platform with guided messaging

Increase practice growth with real-time online booking

Pet owners want to feel like their furry (or not-so-furry) baby is your practice’s most important patient. When your front-office staff is too busy to provide the level of attention that each pet owner deserves, your practice may find it difficult to keep up.

With Vetstoria’s real-time online booking, new or existing pet owners can easily book appointments online 24/7, even outside of office hours, without needing to call the practice. Pet owners can schedule bookings online without having to log in to an app, remember passwords, and can access Vetstoria from any electronic device.

Vetstoria’s real-time online booking for veterinarians also offers:

  • Automatic appointment confirmations and email reminders to reduce stress on the front desk and improve time management overall.
  • Linking your social accounts such as Facebook, Instagram and Google My Business to direct pet owners to book appointments on your website.
  • Digital Marketing links which can be used to create customized campaigns and trackable links. 
A preview of Vetstoria's real-time online booking platform

Get free marketing assets for Socials!

Our veterinary content packs include a variety of marketing assets to share with pet owners, such as:

  • Instagram posts and suggested captions
  • Facebook posts and suggestion captions
  • Pre-written emails and text messages
  • Video reel templates

To start using our content packs for your clinic, visit our content packs page

Improved pet owner experience with real-time online booking

Thanks to the automation that Vetstoria provides, the pet owner’s experience through the booking journey proves an overall 94% satisfaction rate (Vetstoria data). This means they can view the available slots and book appointments real-time without the use of an app. The platform communicates information about the appointment during the process as well through confirmation and reminder emails.

A pet owner using Vetstoria's real-time online booking platform for vets


Boost revenue with easy to track marketing campaigns

Vetstoria’s real-time online booking for veterinarians has a digital marketing feature that generates trackable booking links and QR codes for things like promotional discounts, new customer discounts, discounted seasonal checkups and procedures. These trackable links can all be included on your veterinary practice’s social media promotions to effortlessly increase your online traffic and help you identify which promotions attract the most customers.

Using Vetstoria's real-time online booking platform with marketing links

Practice management integrations

Vetstoria seamlessly integrates with your clinic’s veterinary practice management system (PIMS). This is what sets it apart from other online scheduling solutions. Our real-time sync with over 30+ PIMS prevents double-bookings and allows online bookings to be shown directly within the PIMS itself. Further, any emergency block-offs made within the PIMS are reflected instantly within Vetstoria’s online booking tool, and vice versa.

Vetstoria is able to match appointments with existing pet owners if the pet owner’s details have already been recorded within the PIMS. The appointments are booked straight away along with the pet owner, pet and appointment details. With new pet owners, Vetstoria offers a digital new client form embedded in the online booking process, collecting new owner and pet’s details.

Vetstoria’s real-time online booking scheduling software integrates with IDEXX, AVImark, ezyVet, and many other practice management systems.

Vetstoria's real-time online booking integrates with over 30 Practice Management Systems (PIMS)

Telehealth appointments

The pandemic spurred us all into the digital age, with telehealth taking precedence over in-person appointments. It’s no different for the veterinary world.

With Vetstoria’s real-time online booking, your clinic can generate more income and broaden your customer base. You can also offer services to existing customers for non-urgent appointments, thus reducing in-clinic traffic and making time for emergency walk-ins. Telehealth appointments allow for more flexible working options for staff and flexibility for pet owners who have anxious pets. In these cases, it’s simpler to get on a quick call with a clinician for a consultation.

Pet owners can book their telehealth consultations online, syncing directly to your practice calendar without issue. Additionally, Vetstoria’s real-time online booking can host your meeting on any mobile or web device — without the need for pet owners to download an app or create an account and log in.

Vetstoria's real-time online booking platform also supports telemed appointments

Reporting and analytics

Knowing how your practice is performing is the first step to making improvements. With Vetstoria’s real-time online booking scheduling software, you can learn about your clinic’s strengths and weaknesses with straightforward reporting and analytics.

Integrate Vetstoria with Google Analytics to get a comprehensive picture of your pet owner base. See the full journey that your pet owners take, from engaging with your online campaigns and visiting your website to booking an appointment. You can also get a quick view of the total number of appointments, total value, and your new pet owners.

By digging deeper, you can learn a lot about pet owner behaviour. From how they found your practice, the most active dates and times for bookings, the number of appointments booked per procedure type or clinician, and at which step(s) of the process pet owners typically drop out. You can even segment by device, origin, or pet owner type!

Vetstoria's real-time online booking platform analytics

These insights enable you to optimize your availability and enhance the booking experience for pet owners. You can also harness the power of our analytics tools to measure the effectiveness of marketing campaigns, conversions, and new pet owners you are bringing into your practice.

Onboarding with Vetstoria 

Setting up Vetstoria’s real-time online booking scheduling software is much faster than people expect. Setup times can vary depending on the number of branches, but it typically takes 2-3 calls to get a single clinic up and running with Vetstoria.

Once we’ve shown you how we can completely customize Vetstoria to suit your practice over a demo, our onboarding team (consisting of former vet nurses and practice managers) work with your nominated Vetstoria champions to get you all set up!

We’ll learn how your practice operates, understand your expectations and estimate your go-live timeline. Then, we’ll set up your account , test everything, and make any necessary changes. Once you’re ready to go live, we’ll ensure you are familiar with how it works and make any final tweaks. After you’ve been live for two weeks, we’ll have a review call to ensure you’re getting the most out of Vetstoria!

24/7 Support

We offer 24/7 support. Our staff consists of knowledgeable professionals, many of whom are former practice managers, veterinary technicians, and nurses. Our support team is readily available to assist you if you need help — and ensure you get the most out of the platform once you go live. You can also chat with our dedicated support team or even lodge a ticket to have your query solved without a moment’s delay.

Vetstoria's real-time online booking platform analytics

It’s time to upgrade to real-time online booking!

Today’s clinics and pet owners expect companies to use the best digital solutions. Not only does Vetstoria do this for scheduling, but it also gives your practice the freedom to completely customize the process, so pet owners have the best experience possible while you maintain complete control. It connects your team and pet owners like never before. Vetstoria’s real-time online booking scheduling software is an investment that can save your team hours, improve pet owner experience and increase revenue.