Going from a messy manual jumble to unified cloud-based software

Dr Tony Cambridge and the VSS team sought flexibility and automation. They’ve unified a jumble of separate applications into a single clear picture.

Based in sunny Orange County, California, Dr Tony Cambridge and the Veterinary Surgical Specialists team support local primary care veterinarians by providing the very best surgical expertise in orthopedic, soft tissue, neurologic, oncologic and cardiothoracic procedures. Tony and the team moved to ezyVet in 2018, after intensive research into cloud-based practice management software. They sought a flexible solution that would automate out manual processes and collate results from lab equipment. With ezyVet, they’ve unified a jumble of separate applications, streamlining them into a single clear picture.

We caught up with Dr Cambridge to discuss what the team at Veterinary Surgical Specialists loves most from the switch to cloud-based veterinary software – from accessing a complete medical record remotely to cutting all data entry out of the operating room.

Tell us about Veterinary Surgical Specialists, Tony. What is your team all about?

At Veterinary Surgical Specialists, our philosophy is quite simple – we just want to do the best we can and give the best patient care. It is what we strive for and that has been our success. Essentially, at VSS we can offer any form of surgery – from total hip replacements through to minimally invasive surgery, along with arthroscopy and laparoscopy.

Why did you decide to move to cloud-based practice management software?

Our team runs surgery 24 hours a day, so we have staff working around the clock, in theater and at the front desk. We are a tight team – many of us have been here for over a decade – and work together at pace. There was a shared feeling among us that the old software was no longer working.

We were doing a lot of manual inputting and needed a hand. We also felt that we were not being listened to. Our system was such that it was isolated and not evolving from the other systems that were around us. We would have to manually enter patient information into multiple systems – do things like maintaining an extra laboratory system just for medical record imaging requests. All of those were manual forms that had to be completed.

ezyVet crept into our thought process as we looked at what other veterinary software was available in the marketplace. What captivated us was the company’s willingness to hear what we wanted, rather than tell us what it did. ezyVet wanted to know what our team needed to do with the software, bending it, manipulating it, and creating new features. They really worked with us in the way we had always wanted.

While we might all be using the same software, we all want slightly different things from it. That’s why being able to customize the software to suit our needs is key.

How has the move to cloud-based software improved your systems?

We now have one clear and complete picture. Prior to joining ezyVet we had an operating system that required us to look for patient information in many places. It wasn’t centrally collated, so we would have to open a different file, or go to a different location every time we wanted to look at a record. For example, we might have had to search in an entirely different system for X-rays ­– but that has now been replaced by one centrally focused system.

What I love now, is that I can scroll through a medical record and, before my eyes, I can immediately see the complete medical picture. That, to a surgeon’s brain, is a phenomenal situation because I now spend very little time getting maximum amount of information, whereas before it was it was a real hurdle.

We are also getting great feedback from our referral GPs and partners on how clean and easy to read our reports are. With ezyVet we can customize our forms by procedure, animal type, referring doctor, location and more. Each of us can create those forms to our specifications and extract that data from their practice. Requesting data is also so simple – it’s just a click away.

“Prior to joining ezyVet we had an operating system that required us to look for patient information in many places.”

Dr Tony Cambridge

Surgeon, Veterinary Surgical Specialists of Orange County

What about the ecosystem piece? How do you use the software to connect with partners?

One of ezyVet’s most amazing features is how it integrates with so many software vendors in different disciplines. For example, when I receive a result from the pathologist, it pops into my [patient] record. I open it, and in the same screen I can start an email to the client, dictate a short sentence or two about the result, and share it with them. I can do this from anywhere. I can be on the road, I can be at home – it only takes a few minutes. Before, I’d get a result by email, get to the office the next day, get held up, and maybe share the result by evening.

Another example is in radiology, where we work closely with Vet Rocket and their software integrates with ours. In the case of a fluoroscopy, we might decide that we would like to take an intra-operative fluoroscopic image. Now we have a mini unit that we quickly pull out, make one click in ezyVet, which triggers a work list within it. The machine is then turned on, the patient data is there, and we just press go, collect the images, and they’re saved and returned back into the ezyVet permanent record. It’s so easy!

No more paperwork then?

ezyVet has eliminated any data entry in the operating room. It connects to many other systems yet it’s all seamless to the operator. Likewise, our partners in oncology use pre-populated forms, as we do, so we’ve created custom forms to extract data from our respective practices. With one click we can now ask them to send us key patient information.

Most veterinarians would say that writing records is the least favorite aspect of their job. We now dictate, rather than typing out records – it’s amazing the speed with which we can now enter information. Same thing for the speed with which I can refresh my memory about the patient’s previous treatments – it’s all so much faster.

“One of ezyVet’s most amazing features is how it integrates with so many software vendors in different disciplines.”

Dr Tony Cambridge

Surgeon, Veterinary Surgical Specialists of Orange County