VETLINKSQL MOBILE is an App designed to be used by Veterinarians when visiting patients off-site. This is a true localised App that does not require a live internet or data connection when in the field. Data can be synced between the VETLINKSQL server and this App when a connection becomes available. Generally a user will sync data when a WiFi connection is available, either at the clinic, home or at a client site. Of course there is nothing stopping one syncing using mobile data if it is available and cost-effective. Given lower speed and high cost of mobile data, a major re-structure of the VETLINKSQL database was done before writing this App. The resulting advantage is that only data that has changed or added gets transferred between the two systems. Appointment syncing is also independent from other data syncing so up to date appointments can be made available without "breaking the bank" on mobile data charges.
How Does It Work
Once the VETLINKSQL MOBILE App is loaded onto a phone or tablet, the user needs to contact CFL to sign up for integration to their VETLINKSQL server. Once configuration and setup has been completed, you are ready to upload designated Clients, Animals, Products, Services, and your own Appointments. All other staffs’ appointments can also be loaded if configured and allowed by Management. Intelligent Notes for Client, Animal, and Product records, as well as Drug Withholding Notes are also synced. You are now ready to head out to see patients off-site! While the device is usually "owned" by a particular staff member, we have designed the App to be "Staff Agnostic" on a device, so the loading of data is dynamic for the Staff that logs in. This facilitates support for multiple communal tablets at the charging bay within an organisation, regardless of the location of a practice branch, thereby allowing Vets to pick any device, login and sync as they head out to farm or house calls. Once bills (and other data) are synced to the server, they will appear under “Mobile Bills” for individual review / edit before being finalised. The workflow is such that every invoice has to be opened by office staff for review and then completed and “posted”.
The Mobile billing App is available for download for both Android and Apple.
This is a fully functional diary. The logged in user is able to sync all their appointments to the device. If approved by Management then all relevant staff’s appointments can also be loaded for viewing. If a data connection is available live appointments can also be made for oneself which syncs back to the server immediately. If Management allows it, one may also make appointments for other staff members. All diary locks will also be synced to the device just as it is on the main clinic calendar.
Appointments can be viewed in a graphical format or a “Agenda View” on a day by day basis. Each day can easily be paged forwards or backwards, or one may select a date from the monthly calendar. To avoid errors, colour coding is used to show if one is NOT on their calendar or not on the current day.
Simply select an appointment from the list on your mobile device, review client and patient details and proceed to billing and clinical note taking. Alternatively click on the client to see further details, on patient to see patient details and history. Under client details, simply click on the phone numbers to phone the client immediately (phones only), and click on the address to activate GPS which will geo-locate the user’s position and then direct the user to the client’s destination using Google Maps. Under patient details select History to see all past clinical and billing history as per the last sync; further history can be downloaded on demand if a data connection is available. Finally, a “long press” on the appointment will provide further menu items.
A bill can be generated without an appointment being present, or from the appointment as described above. It has always been understood by our design (UI) team that unless the billing process is easy and fast to use, Vets would simply not use it. For this reason, we have some very special UI functionality as follows:
- Recently Used Button - We realised that searching for commonly used seasonal Drugs and Services could become repetitive and tiresome. For this reason, the App automatically learns the users behaviour and maintains a local list of recently / frequently used items in reverse chronological order. Simply selecting this option while billing will allow quick and easy access to this list.
- My Favourites – We understand that every Vet will have their favourite items. Users are able to build a list of their most commonly used and favourite items under a “My Favourites” button. Simply selecting this option while billing will allow quick and easy access to these items.
- Drug & Service Separation – Drugs and Services are separated with individual buttons so that search lists are targeted for quick and easy selection. Any character in the string for search allows for fast searching where full names are not know.
- Complex Products & Procedures - Selection of multi-item complex products and procedures are supported. Components are expanded once imported into VETLINKSQL with latest pricing and discounts (if any) applied.
- Travel Charging - Travel distances from the Clinic to client addresses stored in VETLINKSQL are also synced to the mobile database. When billing a client using the App, any travel bill item will automatically bring up the default distance for selection.
- Barcode Scanning – Every smartphone and Tablet has a camera and most products have barcodes. In addition to that, VETLINKSQL has a facility to print barcodes for products as well as services. Our engineers have perfected fast and easy scanning of barcodes for billing.
- Batch Code & Expiry – Batch code and expiry requests will pop automatically if the drug is pre-set to require this. If a suitable special barcode is present then the Batch Number and Expiry Date can also be scanned in*.
- Drug Withholding Messages - All Drug Withholding messages will show at the time of billing and will print under the drug name on the invoice once processed.
- Diagnosis Codes - Quick and easy selection as part of billing from a list of codes allows the Vet, and therefore the Practice, to collect statistical data from the field. In a Dairy Practice for example, one may want data on number of “Caesareans”, “Calf Pneumonia”, “Calving – Live Calf”, “Calving – Dead Calf”, and so on. This data is synced back to the server and reporting and analysis is available through the Reporting Module.
- Intelligent Notes - All client and animal "Pop at Billing" notes will come up when billing so users do not miss any vital information. Also, "Print as Bill Item" notes will insert a bill line item – this is commonly used for Meat/Milk Withholding Notes. Click here for more information on Intelligent Notes.
- Workflow – Once a bill has been completed and history taken, the user has an option to save and remit / sync immediately to the server, or save and potentially edit, and then to sync later in bulk.
Large Animal Vets are time poor in the field and so clinical notes get ignored. History recording is made quick and easy in three ways.
- Abbreviation Expansion – Users can create their own database of abbreviations which automatically expand into words, phrases, or entire paragraphs. A selection menu of abbreviations is also available for memory loss (sorry).
- Predictive Text** – Predictive text built into phones and tablets can be used while taking notes thereby reducing spelling errors and speeding up note taking.
- Photos – The built-in camera can be used to capture photos in the field which automatically attaches to clinical history and gets synced back to the sever later for a permanent record. A setup option also allows the user to adjust the size of the photo so as not to save large files if they wish not to.
- Previous History – Previous clinical and billing history is readily available on the device but can also be synced in the field if older records are required
New Client / Animal
Users can create new clients and animals on the device. Upon syncing back to VETLINKSQL a prompt will advise of new clients or animals and allow users to double check they are definitely new and merge if necessary to avoid duplicates. A live search back to the VETLINKSQL database is also available if a data or wireless connection exists.
Bill to Animal Only
Users can add new clients and animals on the device. Upon syncing back to VETLINKSQL a prompt will advise of new clients and/or animals and allow clinic staff to double check they are definitely new and merge with existing accounts if necessary to avoid duplicates. A live search back to the VETLINKSQL database is also available if a data or wireless connection exists.
Not only can users can add new animal records to existing clients but they can also add new animals without knowing the owner! This can be common in the Equine industry where a new horse is seen by the Vet at a Stud or at a Trainer’s yard without having owner details. The Vet can proceed with a descriptive name and place a message and continue to bill and take notes and photos. Once synced back to the server, clinic staff automatically get prompted when they review the transaction so they can then assign the horse or foal to the rightful owner or syndicate.
Clinical Note Taking and Photo Capture
Full clinical notes can be taken on-site. Photos can also be taken or uploaded from the device as well. This is later synced back to the VETLINKSQL server at the clinic.
Almost all mobile devices have GPS hardware. When a client is selected from the Appointment List, or elsewhere, the user is able to click on the Map icon. This will automatically use the current location and provide a graphical and efficient route using Google Maps. Actual written directions and other features are then also easily accessible via Google Map and device features. Note: This feature requires a data connection.
Each Mobile User can have restrictions placed on them by Management. The following are currently configurable:
* Android only
- Show Pricing - This flag will determine if the user can see any product or service pricing. All default pricing will be used and will be presented to the accounts person at the clinic as bills are imported in VETLINKSQL. They may then edit as required.
- Allow Discounting - If Show Pricing is enabled then this flag can control whether the user is able to discount any item. At worst case, they can leave a message which will be stored and visible to the accounts person reviewing the bill before finalising.
- Allow Loading All Users Appointments – Management can control if users can see other users’ appointments
- Allow Making Appointments – Management can control if one or more users can make appointments
- Allow Making Appointment for Others – Management can control if a user can make appointments for others.
** iOS (Apple) devices only
*We recommend an Apple iPad for running this App. Note that there is also an Android version available on Google Play and we highly recommended newer “name brand” portrait devices such as Samsung and LG. If in doubt please contact CFL for Android device recommendations as we cannot guarantee all makes and models to work perfectly.