How to stop guessing and start tracking veterinary patient compliance

by By Jen Kowalski

12 min read

With the increase in client demand for veterinary care, plus industry-wide staffing challenges, your practice is likely busier than ever. You’re attracting more clients and patients but are you successfully getting them to follow your preventive care recommendations?

Let’s start by acknowledging something we all know: attempting to track compliance in your practice management system can be a massive headache. 

But thankfully there is a better way. We at Vetsource want to help by simplifying the complex world of compliance down into an easy-to-use monthly report that lets you dig into how successful your practice is at meeting wellness compliance targets, and above all else, providing better preventive medicine to pets. 

The Vetsource Compliance Tracker

The Compliance Tracker is a monthly subscription-based report that highlights key compliance metrics and provides critical insight into whether clients are following a practice’s preventive care recommendations. 

Thanks to a direct practice management software connection and proprietary mapping system, we’re able to accurately report on patient compliance in eight key areas of preventive healthcare: annual physical exams, wellness bloodwork, heartworm testing, fecal testing, core vaccines, lifestyle vaccines, parasiticide compliance, and dental prophylaxis.


A laptop with an animated screen, showing each page of the VetSuccess Compliance Tracker


Challenges and solutions for tracking veterinary patient compliance 

To quote Katie McClean, our managing director, “The Compliance Tracker has been years in the making and is certainly a labor of love.” We’ve gathered tons of feedback from veterinary practice managers, owners, and technicians and incorporated it all into this report. 

Below, let’s run through some of what we heard and what we did to address the challenges associated with tracking veterinary patient compliance.

Challenge 1: “We just don’t have time for this”

What we heard:  “My practice is busier than ever. New patients are up, staffing is a challenge, and everyone has to work around new distancing and safety protocols. Most of my days are spent in an exam room, filling in at the front desk, running to the back to see if Fluffy is out of surgery, and trying to figure out where I left my stethoscope instead of in my office combing through numbers.”

Solution: We get it. While the Compliance Tracker is a robust and detailed report, sometimes all you have time for is a quick overview. The Compliance Summary is your 5-minute, 1-page snapshot of how your practice did this month. 

  •  Annual exams: Are all your wellness patients getting them?
  • Key compliance numbers: How are you performing in some of the most critical wellness categories?
  • Monthly achievements: Where did you knock it out of the park this month?
  • Areas to review: Where do you need a little more attention?
  • Provider superstar: Who did an amazing job at driving patient wellness in your practice this month?

An example of the summary page of the compliance tracker, highlighting the 5 different areas as described in the blog post

If you like what you see, you can stop there and go about your day knowing that you’re where you want to be. However, if you want to dig in further, you have some great starting points to look closer at the detailed data in the rest of the Compliance Tracker.

Challenge 2: “We do more than just well visits”

What we heard: “My practice cares about general wellness, but we handle so much more. We see dozens of patients a week that are coming in for emergency visits, specialty referrals, boarding, and/or grooming.”

Solution: We created a special algorithm to look at what products and services clients have purchased for their pets in the past to identify which pets are truly wellness patients in your practice. All the numbers you see on your report consider only those patients so that you can take a look at wellness compliance for your wellness business only.

An example page of the Compliance Tracker, showing 4 line graphs of patient compliance for different procedures

Challenge 3: “Yeah but what do we even do with this data?”

What we heard: “Even if I understand how my practice is doing, how does that help me figure out what to do next? My doctors all have their own strengths and weaknesses, clients have different priorities, and a single number doesn’t tell the whole story.”

Solution: Compliance is a team sport and we think it’s important to show how the practice is performing as a whole. BUT, a team is only as strong as the players on it, so we also include a breakdown of your wellness providers including how many opportunities they had to provide wellness services, how successful they were, and how those numbers compare to your practice overall. Time to figure out who needs to share what’s been working for them, and who might need a bit of coaching

A chart showing the conversion rate by procedure for a specific doctor at a practice, for comparison against how the practice does as a whole

If you want to zoom in even further to the individual patient level, we provide spreadsheets of the patients who visited each month. So when you see that 24% of dogs walked out the door without their DHPP vaccine, you can see exactly who in your patient base is not covered and create an action plan for reaching out to them.

Challenge 4: “How do we know if our numbers are good?”

What we heard: “We’re never going to reach 100% on compliance — there’s just too many pet owners with (valid) financial concerns or those who just don’t see the value of an annual fecal test. It’s hard to figure out what all these numbers mean and where to focus.”

Solution: Throughout the report, you’ll see two different types of comparisons to help you figure out whether your numbers are good or bad:

  • We compare your numbers to your past performance, so you can see how you’re trending over time and check the impact of protocol changes or staff training.
  • We also show how your numbers compare to other practices in your region so that you know whether to gloat or re-strategize.

A chart showing the veterinary patient compliance for fecal tests at a practice this year compared to last year, with a range showing the optimal benchmark

Even seemingly small increases can make a big difference overall. Check out this case study on how improving parasiticide compliance by just 8% helped this practice generate an additional $122,000 in annual revenue. 

Veterinary patient compliance: Measure it. Manage it. 

Gone are the days when you either guess or avoid tracking patient compliance in your practice. The Compliance Tracker takes all the guess work and manual labor out of pulling these numbers, so that you can spend more time focusing on ways to increase your compliance stats, provide better care to more pets, and improve the health of your business.

Get a demo today to learn more about the Compliance Tracker. 

Jen Kowalski

Jen Kowalski

Jen Kowalski is a Business Analyst for VetSuccess with a self-proclaimed obsession with minutia that serves VetSuccess clients well. She can be reached at [email protected].

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