Case Study: Deer Park Veterinary Hospital

Self-Sign up Accelerates Wellness Plan Growth

Introduction

 

Deer Park Veterinary Hospital had just begun realizing the benefits of VCP’s wellness solution when the pandemic required them to quickly adapt to a new way of serving clients.

 

The hospital opted for VCP’s online and curbside self-enrollment solution. In the first three months of using self-sign up, average weekly plan enrollments rose 52.5% over average weekly sign-ups in the first five months of the year.

 

Background

 

Deer Park Veterinary Hospital, a small hospital in the Cincinnati area, has served the surrounding community since 1984. The staff at the privately-owned hospital includes two practicing doctors and 10 team members.

 

Caring primarily for dogs and cats, Deer Park Veterinary Hospital had always made wellness care a priority. Staff emphasizes the importance of annual health visits for dogs and cats, including labwork for all ages and year-around flea, tick, and heartworm prevention.

 

Although the hospital had always made preventive care a fundamental part of the practice, wellness plans weren’t viewed as beneficial to the practice or its clientele. Staff at the practice had heard that wellness plans ate up valuable time and were a hassle to administer.

 

“We had always heard horror stories of how miserable they were for everyone, including the client,” explained Jaimee Anderson, office manager at Deer Park Veterinary Hospital.

 

However, after hearing clients consistently ask for wellness plans to help them to budget for preventive care, Deer Park Veterinary Hospital compared various wellness solutions. They chose VCP.

 

For Deer Park, VCP’s solution made sense because it included managed payments, the option for pre-enrollment via a link on the hospital’s website, and the versatility to customize plans to each pet. Plus, Deer Park’s doctor appreciated the ability to run reports to evaluate a variety of metrics, such as sign ups, renewals, cancellations, and popular options.

 

After launching on VCP’s wellness solution in mid-January of 2020, Jaimee said the team noticed how the platform streamlined workflows, with an easy-to-use, intuitive dashboard to create and edit wellness plans.

 

“No more hunting for things. It’s all at the top and perfectly organized,” she said of the utilization dashboard.

 

In the first five months of using the solution, the hospital enrolled 50 pets in new wellness plans.

 

The Challenge

 

Just a few months later, the coronavirus pandemic struck. With the resulting lockdown, Deer Park Veterinary Hospital stopped performing non-essential procedures for almost 3 weeks. Only limited numbers of clients could enter the hospital, such as those with pets with a severe illness or needing end-of-life care.

 

At the same time, the hospital grew even busier, as many home-bound individuals decided to get new pets for companionship.

 

“We had to completely change how we practice and work appointments,” recalled Jaimee. Staffers increasingly felt exhausted by the new demands of social distancing, which required running back and forth to clients’ cars in the parking lot.

 

The team needed a solution to help ease their workload and save time, so they could rise to the challenge of the new model of contactless service.

 

The Solution

 

The hospital opted for VCP’s self-sign up feature, which enables pet owners to independently enroll in wellness plans through a private portal. The portal is available via desktop and laptop computers and on mobile devices, permitting clients to use it at home or while curbside outside the hospital.

 

Within the portal, clients can browse through available wellness plans, pick optional services, review FAQs, and pay the required enrollment fees. The entire process takes mere minutes.

 

Deer Park Veterinary Hospital went live with the new feature in May.

 

“It saves so much time!” said Jaimee. “Self-sign up should have been released from the beginning of time.”

 

At Deer Park, staff members start the self-sign up process by simply sharing the link to the portal. They then suggest the right plan and add-ons for clients, and leave it to the client to complete the process, Jaimee explained.

 

Beyond the time savings and convenience, she also said that self-sign up makes sense because the client already has access to all of the personal and financial information necessary to fill out the enrollment form. She said she appreciates how clients can input their own financial information, which avoids the risk of a client’s credit card getting misplaced.

 

“Having clients do it all on their own really saved us,” she said.

 

If owners don’t choose options at sign up or aren’t sure which options to select, VCP’s technology includes the exclusive ability to add optional services after enrollment. Practice staff can easily add the options later with just a few quick clicks in the VCP platform.

 

The Results

 

Since the roll-out, Deer Park Veterinary Hospital’s clients have responded positively to self-sign up.

 

“They love it,” said Jaimee, who said the practice intends to continue curbside service as long as the weather allows.

 

Happy with their results, Jaimee encourages other hospitals to use VCP’s self-sign up and curbside features.

 

“You’ll get your team on board and motivated to sell them because it doesn’t add more stress to your team,” she noted.

 

For hospitals considering self-sign up, she offers a few tips, such as creating plan comparisons and emailing them to clients the night before an appointment.

 

“Displaying and explaining what the plan includes, versus what paying out of pocket will get you, will sell the plans themselves,” she explained. “Then make sure to have a link taking them to VCP to self-enroll and explain the process.”

 

Find out how VCP’s solution can recharge your wellness plan program. Contact Ron Nelson, vice president of operations, at ron.nelson@vcp.vet.

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