Apiam Animal Health is one of Australia's leading rural veterinary businesses. The group operates more than 70 veterinary clinics across rural Australia, offering services such as vaccinations, surgeries, diagnostics, and preventive care for pets, as well as herd health management and production animal services for livestock farmers.

In late 2023, the group began the mammoth task of migrating its entire practice portfolio to ezyVet. We joined a few members of the Apiam Animal Health team at Fur Life Vet Highton, the third practice in the portfolio-wide rollout, to learn more about why they decided to go with ezyVet and their first impressions of their new system.

Complex requirements lead group to ezyVet

“It all started more than a year ago,” explains Sal Sharma, Applications Manager Implementation and Support at Apiam Animal Health. “Times are changing and management made the strategic decision to find a more robust practice management system for our clinics. The vision was to enrich the lives of people who are associated with us - our clients, our patients, and our staff as well.”

The requirements were complex. Prior to migrating to ezyVet, approximately 50 of Apiam Animal Health’s practices were on a centralized network, which left 20 or so practices operating on siloed systems. To unify the disparate practices, the team wanted to bring its entire portfolio into one central structure - a goal that would make life easier for staff and provide a more cohesive experience for their clients.

At the same time, however, the system needed to be flexible enough to meet the diverse needs of each individual practice within the group’s portfolio. Whereas many other corporate groups’ portfolios are typically skewed toward practices located in urban centers, Apiam Animal Health is composed largely of rural clinics, which cater to a broad range of patients and clientele.

“It was crucial to have [all of our practices] on one system, so we couldn’t use software that only worked with companion animals. We had to make sure that the software could be used across all of our business domains, whether it was a large animal, companion, equine, or specialty,” says Sal.

Veterinary staff with cat

After conducting extensive research and investigating a wide range of prospective solutions, Apiam Animal Health concluded that ezyVet would be the best fit.

“We had a massive checklist and we had to make sure it was all achievable. We did our homework and looked at a lot of applications. It was a rigorous exercise, but it helped us decide that, yes, ezyVet was the right product. Then we started on the nitty-gritty of preparing for the rollout,” says Sal.

Ironing out the details

After determining that ezyVet would be the best fit, the next step was logistics. Given the scope and complexity of the migration, it was essential that ezyVet and Apiam Animal Health were fully aligned on the details. Members of the ezyVet Enterprise and Implementation teams traveled to Australia to discuss the nuances of the project and address any questions in person.

“There was a lot to consider,” recalls Sal. “We wanted to make sure that the system itself actually supported our vision and our goal - which it does. But we also wanted to learn more about the people behind the product. Talking to the ezyVet corporate account managers and implementers gave us the assurance that we would be supported both during and post-implementation. Having the ezyVet team here looking through our questions and concerns and making sure we were all on the same page - that was awesome.”

Meticulous planning leads to “smooth” transition

High five

Months of meticulous planning by Sal and the rest of the project team have evidently paid off. Two practices in the Apiam Animal Health portfolio have already migrated to ezyVet, with a third go-live currently underway at Fur Life Vet Highton, a bustling veterinary practice located in Geelong, Australia.

We joined the team at Fur Life Vet Highton to see how the transition was going.

Despite being in the midst of go-live week - often a turbulent time for veterinary practices as staff grapple with navigating a new practice management system - the team at Fur Life Vet Highton are calm and confident.

“This is the third day [of go-live week] and it’s going well,” says veterinarian Dr. George Johnstone. “The transition's been really quite smooth - as smooth as we could have hoped for.”

Part of that can be attributed to the comprehensive training ezyVet provided. In the weeks leading up to go-live day, ezyVet Senior Implementation Consultant Jo Christie coordinated a number of training workshops and Q&A sessions with Sal, giving the Fur Life Vet Highton team the opportunity to learn the foundations of the software.

“None of our staff members had used ezyVet before. We had quite a lot of training leading up to it, which was great because it meant that we did have a bit of knowledge behind us when we hit the ground,” says George.

While it’s still early days, George has already observed a number of operational benefits since making the switch to ezyVet. As a cloud-based practice management system, ezyVet offers staff greater flexibility by enabling access to critical clinic data from any internet-connected device. This flexibility allows the Fur Life Vet Highton team to take photos and clinical notes on the go and monitor patients remotely, which contributes to more efficient workflows and greater patient care.

“Our nurses are a lot more efficient in uploading documents and billing - and with the number of times they do that throughout the day, it all adds up. ezyVet’s giving us more time within the clinic and that's absolutely a big win for us. It frees up our vets and means we can see more animals and we can do a better job at it, which creates better outcomes for our patients as well. So all in all it's a win for everyone,” says George.

This is just the beginning

Fur Life Vet Highton has already unlocked a number of benefits since migrating to ezyVet. But for Apiam Animal Health, this is just the beginning. In the months ahead, the group will continue to roll out ezyVet to dozens of clinics, providing each individual practice with the tools it needs to thrive while unifying its portfolio under one powerful central structure.

Want to see what ezyVet could do for your practice? Book a demo today to discover how ezyVet could help your hospital save time, drive revenue, and better serve your patients.