Highland Park Animal Hospital is an integral part of the Dallas community. Since opening its doors way back in 1964, the practice has grown from a small-town, one-doctor clinic into a three-story, state-of-the-art facility, staffed by seven doctors. These days, the three-site practice provides a wide range of services, including preventive care, surgery, internal medicine, luxury boarding, ultrasonography, and more.
After almost two decades of operating on a server-based system, the practice decided it was time to move to a cloud-based system. We caught up with the Highland Park Animal Hospital team to find out why they decided to switch to ezyVet and how the practice’s daily operations have changed since the transition.
Server-based system starts to show its age
Technology is changing the way veterinary practices operate. For close to 20 years, Highland Park Animal Hospital had relied on Cornerstone, a server-based practice management system. While the system was initially a good fit, issues began to arise as the hospital expanded.
“Cornerstone worked well,” recalled Joel Gajewski, Director of Operations at Highland Park Animal Hospital. “But as we grew and started transitioning care between all three of our sites, it became cumbersome. Cornerstone is server-based. So, in order to share data between our sites, we would have to call each other to get information, or scan and email the records.”
When the time came to choose a new practice management system, the hospital’s selection criteria was simple. The software needed to be easy to use. It needed to be cloud-based. And it needed to allow the team to remotely access information at a granular level, whether it was a patient record, an invoice, or an end-of-day report.
Initially, Highland Park Animal Hospital didn’t go with ezyVet. Instead, after reviewing a range of different options, the team decided to go with a competing cloud-based software product that appeared - on the surface, at least - to tick all the boxes. However, as the team soon discovered, the software provider ran into significant challenges during the data conversion process.
“I probably reviewed about a dozen different software solutions. They all make a lot of claims that they can migrate your data, so I thought it’d be a seamless transition. But I can tell you that that wasn’t the case. They made a lot of promises and couldn't deliver,” said Joel.
Here’s what happened. Each of Highland Park Animal Hospital’s three locations had its own set of patient and client records. This meant that if a patient had visited more than one location, the hospital would have multiple records for that patient. With the practice moving to a cloud-based system, those records needed to be merged into a single database with no duplicate records.
Unfortunately, the software provider was unable to successfully merge the data, which rendered the hospital’s data more or less unusable.
“Let’s say we had a client that had had appointments at all of our locations - they’d be in our system three times,” explained Joel. “There was no way of knowing which client-patient relationship you were clicking on until you went into the record and realized, ‘Oh, this record belongs to the other location, not our location.’ It also made it very difficult to track reminders, vaccines, and patient records in general.”
ezyVet swoops in to save botched data conversion
The migration issues made it impossible to continue with the software, so the team once again began shopping around for a new system.
After consulting a number of current ezyVet users (“No one had anything negative to say; in fact, everyone loved it and felt that it made their practice better and more efficient”), the Highland Park Animal Hospital team decided to change software yet again, putting their trust in ezyVet to salvage their data.
This time, it was a success. ezyVet’s in-house data analytics team worked closely with Highland Park Animal Hospital to understand the practice’s data requirements before implementing a bespoke conversion that would ensure the safety, accuracy, and integrity of the data. Meticulous manual data checks and thorough verification provided additional peace of mind that the practice’s historical data would be safe and accurate within the ezyVet system before go-live day.
“ezyVet’s data analytics team came in and were able to run scripts that put all of our data back together. They really did a great job taking those three different databases and assimilating them into one,” said Joel.
he hospital’s historical data was safe. But a successful data conversion is just one piece of the puzzle when it comes to software transitions. Equally important is the people side of change: training, reassurance, and helping team members feel confident navigating the new system. To ensure a smooth transition, ezyVet’s implementation team provided Highland Park Animal Hospital with in-person support for go-live week.
“I think the biggest difference in the implementation of ezyVet versus our last rollout is that there are staff on-site to assist you that whole entire week of go-live, It’s a huge difference from other products where they don't offer any in-person support.”
Workflow improvements since migrating to ezyVet
While Highland Park Animal Hospital’s software journey might have had a few unexpected twists and turns along the way, it’s been smooth sailing since transitioning to ezyVet. As Dr. Heather Vargo explained, ezyVet’s user-friendly interface allows staff to quickly get up to speed with the software, while the tab-based layout makes it easy to navigate between records.
“I think ezyVet definitely is a lot more user-friendly than our previous cloud-based software. And compared to [Cornerstone], it's a world of difference. With our previous software, I had to open up multiple browser windows and go back and forth. If one of the windows accidentally closed, I’d have to start all over again. It was very frustrating. With ezyVet, I feel like I'm able to clearly see what I want to see. I like the tabs - you can use them to toggle between patient records and clinical records without opening a new browser window,” said Heather.
As a cloud-based solution, ezyVet can be accessed from any internet-connected device, regardless of where staff are physically located. Not only has this helped enhance efficiency and communication, but it’s also given the Highland Park Animal Hospital team more flexibility to manage their workload outside of the practice.
“ezyVet is cloud-based, so I can log in from anywhere,” explained Heather. “I like the flexibility of being able to do some work from home. I have a 14-month-old daughter, so it's nice to be able to get home on time to put her to bed and log in later if I need to finish up some important notes.”
Another area that has significantly improved since moving to ezyVet is the hospital’s reporting processes. ezyVet features robust reporting capabilities, giving Highland Park Animal Hospital deep insight into a huge range of business metrics. Reports can be configured to be sent automatically at a predefined frequency, providing stakeholders with continual visibility of the practice’s performance.
“One of the things I like most as an administrator in the hospital is the reporting that ezyVet offers. The difference is day and night compared to what we had before. Our old reporting was very limited - you couldn't change any of the filters or customize it at all. Now, we can make any customization to any report that is offered, and there are a lot of reports,” said Joe.
With a rich history spanning almost 60 years, Highland Park Animal Hospital remains dedicated to providing the Dallas community with exceptional pet care. ezyVet plays a small but important role in this mission, equipping the team with the tools they need to work more efficiently, achieve a better work-life balance, and make smarter data-driven decisions.
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.