The future of Veterinary Practices and Hospitals
Did you know that Nikole Tesla predicted Cellphones & Wifi back in 1909? No! How about the fact that Edward Bellamy envisaged the debit card in 1888? Can we predict the future of the veterinary industry?
Predicting the future is not possible unless we have a time travel machine. However, we can definitely look at the current trends and tell what is the most likely outcomes we are going to witness in the near future. Hence, in this article, we will explore a few of the trends that modern veterinary professionals are going to witness in the next 10 years.
Veterinary Professional will witness these trends in next 10 years
- The rise of Veterinary Corporates
- Technology will become accessible to even the smallest vet clinics
- Reputation management will become a big deal
- Rise of pet adoption in eastern countries
- Veterinary PMS will guide business decision making
1. The rise of Veterinary Corporates
Consolidation of veterinary hospitals is not a new thing. The trend of vet clinic acquisition started somewhere between 1985 to 1990. VCA, one of the biggest group of clinics acquired its first hospital in 1987. Currently, about 10% of the veterinary hospitals across united states are already corporatized. However, the rate of corporatization is even higher if you go to markets like the United Kingdom(30-50%), Australia & New Zealand.
There are two possible outcomes we can see from here. A. The corporatization will stop at some point in time. Why? Because pet owners prefer to visit doctors whom they trust and know in person. However, in a corporate, the personal touch is not there. It is more of a standardized service the clients are getting. B. More than 50% of hospitals becoming part of a corporate brand by 2025. This will entirely change the way veterinary service is provided or received. It will become extremely easy for clients to book appointments, consult with the vet from home, purchasing of pet diet online everything happening over a mobile app.
2. Technology will become accessible to even the smallest vet clinics
The rise of open source and scalable technology is enabling small businesses around the world. Most veterinary clinics being small businesses will now have access to cutting edge technology that was only accessible to big size clinics and corporates. Few mentions of such technologies are practice management systems, cloud computing, omnichannel payments, marketing tools, business analytics tools, etc. It is highly recommended for veterinary clinics to get started with these business enablers.
Pet owner entering a veterinary clinic with his/her pet. A facial recognizer tool recognizes the pet and fetches its past medical record from the clinic's practice management software(PMS). Doctor asks the AI engine to analyze the patient's vitals and give reports. Relying on the report, the doctor writes a prescription that gets emailed to the client automatically through the PMS and creates a reminder for the next round of check-up or vaccination. The PMS also connects to the pharma company to deliver the meds to the client's doorstep before he/she reaches home. The invoices will be sent automatically to the client over his email right after the checkup. The client pays for the invoice online. The whole process takes not more than 15 minutes.
3. Reputation management will become a big deal
Review platforms like google and facebook are playing a big part in building or destroying a veterinary clinic's reputation. No matter how good your veterinary clinic is if google rating is below average. If some client has shared her bad experience on your facebook page, it may destroy all the name and fame your clinic had earned in the last few years. This is today's scenario we are talking about. What about the future?
The online reviews will become the decider of whether the client will visit the clinic or not. Veterinary professional will become more concerned about preserving their reputation. Marketing professionals will be hired by clinics to cover up a bad reputation. Review platforms will analyze the genuineness of reviews and remove the fake ones.
4. Rise of pet adoption in eastern countries
20 years back pet adoption in eastern countries like China, India, and Japan was not as prominent as western countries. However, it is no more the case. The primary reason behind this is the aging population of these countries, who see pets as an alternative to having a child. No wonder that Japan and China are just next to the US in terms of the total number of adopted pets.
The center of gravity of the veterinary industry will shift from west to east within the next 10 years. Number of pets in Asian countries will become more than the Americas, Europe, and Australia combined. Veterinary corporates will expand into Asian countries like India and China.
5. Veterinary PMS will guide business decision making
The veterinary PMS or simply called vet software have evolved a lot in the last 20 years. The PMS now comes loaded with Business Analytics and Reporting tools which aid the decision makers in charting out future plans for a veterinary hospital.
Going forward, the usage of these tools will become more mainstream and the management will look at the granular details of the business to take the right course of action. For example, a hospital owner finds that one of the doctors in his hospital is preferred over other doctors when clients book an online appointment. Going even deeper, he also finds that the doctor is driving 60% more repeat visits than other doctors. As a result, the owner arranges a training session by that specific doctor who will teach others how he is able to satisfy the clients. When other doctors also adopt the same tactics, the clinic will receive more revenue. Simple isn't it!
There are other trends which we missed out on this article due to our focus on veterinary business and technology. However, the vet industry is evolving like never before. Thus, it is high time for veterinary practitioners and stakeholders to adopt the latest trends and embrace the future.