Woodland West Animal Hospital is a companion animal practice dedicated to providing the best in veterinary care and compassionate service. Staffed by 10 doctors, the bustling hospital has been serving the Tulsa, Oklahoma community for more than 25 years.

That sort of longevity doesn’t happen by accident. It takes passion, consistency, and a willingness to evolve with the times.

It’s that same pursuit of innovation that drove the Woodland West Animal Hospital team to transition from Avimark to a new cloud-based practice management system. We caught up with Hospital Administrator Karen Miller to learn more about why the practice decided to upgrade and what went into the decision-making process.

Server-based system grows “sluggish” as practice expands

Karen’s no stranger to practice management, having started her career in the veterinary world over 40 years ago at 13. For the past 20 years, she’s played a key role in the day-to-day management of Woodland West Animal Hospital and has seen for herself how a practice management system can help or hinder a veterinary team.

Up until 2019, Woodland West Animal Hospital had been powered by Avimark, a server-based practice management system. While Avimark was originally a great fit during the hospital’s earlier years, issues began to arise as the business expanded.

“We were at the size where it was getting hard to be server-based for any longer,” explained Karen. “The server was crashing quite a bit. The system was getting sluggish. We’d been with Avimark for a very long time, but we really needed to move to something more robust.”

The team determined that upgrading to a cloud-based solution would be their best option to accommodate the hospital’s continued growth.

ezyVet wasn’t their first choice though. Instead, Woodland West Animal Hospital decided to go with Covetrus Pulse, anticipating that moving to a modern, cloud-based solution would help drive efficiency and resolve their performance issues. Unfortunately, the transition didn’t go as smoothly as promised.

“It was a nightmare from the beginning,” recalled Karen. “A lot of the features that we’d planned on being available [prior to migrating to Pulse] were suddenly not available, which was an issue. To be honest, I thought it would be faster. I didn’t think it would slow down and get bogged down so hard. As it turned out, the whole system just couldn’t handle our volume [of cases].”

Transitioning to Pulse was initially seen as a step towards modernization and enhanced functionality. However, the reality fell short of expectations. Performance issues, reporting inaccuracies, and a lack of technical support prompted the Woodland West Animal Hospital team - now equipped with a clearer understanding of their system preferences and requirements - to seek out a more reliable alternative.

Careful evaluation leads team to ezyVet

Vet using drug cabinet

After the unsuccessful transition to Pulse, the Woodland West Animal Hospital was a little more cautious when considering prospective practice management systems the second time around. After engaging in thorough research and evaluation, the team began seriously exploring ezyVet as a potential alternative.

Through multiple meetings and demonstrations with ezyVet Business Development Manager Jesse Myles, the Woodland West Animal Hospital team gradually became more confident that ezyVet was the system they had been searching for all along.

“We nitpicked everything we could find,” said Karen. “Jesse Myles was our sales guy - he was fantastic. He provided us with quite a few references that I talked to. It was very nice to know that our main veterinary university, [the College of Veterinary Medicine at Oklahoma State University] was using ezyVet.”

Leveraging Hristo’s expertise, the Woodland West Animal Hospital team felt supported every step of the way, knowing that they were not only investing in a superior software solution but also in a network of trusted advisors dedicated to their success.

Of course, it’s one thing to understand the theoretical benefits of a product - it’s another thing entirely to see the product in action firsthand. To this end, Hristo coordinated a visit to a West Virginia-based practice, giving Karen and five other Woodland West Animal Hospital partners the opportunity to observe how a large, busy practice utilized ezyVet.

“Woodland West Animal Hospital wanted to see a very large practice using ezyVet in real life because of their bad experience going from Avimark to [Pulse],” said Jesse. “They wanted it to be faster. They wanted less steps in the clinical workflow. They wanted to be more efficient and they wanted really strong integration with everything they were using, including in-house bloods, external labs, imaging, and SmartFlow.”

The West Virginia practice, which was a similar size to Woodland West Animal Hospital, was a strong advocate of ezyVet and its seamless integration with IDEXX diagnostics, which further reassured Karen and the rest of the team that they were making the correct choice.

Robust implementation results in smooth transition

A carefully planned implementation process ensured a smooth transition. In early March 2024, ezyVet implementers joined Woodland West Animal Hospital on-site to assist with technical configuration and staff training.

But the success of the transition wasn't solely attributed to ezyVet's efforts. Karen and the rest of the Woodland West Animal Hospital team took an active role in the project by fully engaging in ezyVet Academy, a foundational course covering essential ezyVet functionality, including scheduling, adding new clients, record management, payments, and more.

“I loved the admin training,” said Karen. “It was helpful to get hands-on - I enjoyed that I was able to access my live site and play along while I was learning. I found a lot of good videos through the help section as well while we were learning. All in all, it was really good.”

Of course, as Karen knows from experience, transitioning to a new practice management system inevitably involves some uncertainty and unexpected hurdles. Thankfully, the ezyVet support team has been proactive and responsive in addressing any concerns that have cropped up, providing Woodland West Animal Hospital with the support it needs to effectively navigate the learning curve of its new system.

“Honestly, ezyVet has the best customer service I have ever come across. To be able to make a phone call and talk to a human so fast... I've never waited more than five minutes, and most of the time they pick up immediately. Everybody's been super pleasant and it's fun to talk to the New Zealanders! I love that accent. I've been very impressed. It’s really alleviated a lot of stress on my part to know that when we need help, we can just call right away. That's awesome,” said Karen.

Poised for future success

While Woodland West Animal Hospital has only been on ezyVet for a few short weeks, Karen has already noticed some major improvements, particularly in regard to performance, reporting, and system customizability. With ezyVet now underpinning its day-to-day activities, the hospital has unlocked new possibilities for efficiency, growth, and client satisfaction.

Woodland West Animal Hospital's journey underscores the importance of thorough research, diligent questioning, and leveraging customer references when evaluating practice management systems.

Book a demo today to discover how ezyVet could help your clinic save time, drive revenue, and better serve your patients.