Everything You Need to Know about Vetspire's Protocols Feature

Created by Katie Kokkinos, Modified on Tue, 15 Mar 2022 at 11:45 AM by Katie Kokkinos

Protocols define the standard of care for which your clients and patients will be automatically reminded. You can create a protocol to remind your clients to bring in their pets to receive any product or service: vaccines, preventatives, wellness exams, and much more. Protocols work together with cadences; reminder messages will be automatically sent to the clients in advance of when the patients are due to receive these products / treatments, and you can select the specific cadence – how long before or after the due date – you want each protocol to deploy. You can also customize the content that is sent in the actual protocol. If multiple reminders are set to go out around the same time, they will all be bundled into one message. A simple way of thinking about protocols is: these are product and service based reminders sent to pet owners reminding them to schedule appointments for important pet health and compliance needs. 


Here are the basics in understanding Vetspire’s protocol module. 


To create a protocol:

 

Go to the top toolbar, select more>marketing & reminders. On the left, under automate, select Protocols. Use the blue +add new button to add a new protocol to the list.


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You can create a protocol for any product, service, or treatment that you offer. The setup process differs slightly between protocols set for vaccines, and protocols set for any other inventory item or service. Therefore, we will explain the setup for each separately: 


Setting up vaccine protocols: 


Click into the protocol that you want to set up. Give the protocol a name, and in the triggered products field, tag any product(s) that, when ordered in the encounter, will trigger the protocol to be sent. In the below example, we named the protocol “Rabies.” This is the name that clients will see in the reminder messages; it is also the name that your staff will see in the patient chart under reminders (more on this below). In the triggered products field, we have tagged multiple rabies products. There is no limit to the number of products you can tag here; the idea is to tag whatever product(s) will trigger this particular protocol. If you administer rabies vaccines with varying durations, and / or from different manufacturers, you can tag all of them to the same Rabies protocol. 


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The due date of the vaccine that you administer will drive when the protocol reminder will be sent. For instance, if you administer (and close out the invoice – this is the action that will trigger the protocol logic to start counting) a “Rabies 1 year” vaccine to a patient on January 1, 2022, and the “Rabies 1 year” vaccine has a due date in that patient’s chart of January 1, 2023, then in this scenario, Vetspire will send the protocol reminder telling the pet owner to bring the pet in for the Rabies protocol, which is due on January 1, 2023. This set up means that you can have three week vaccine boosters tagged to the same protocol to which the one or three year vaccines are tagged, and the protocol will be sent at the right time, and the pet owner will not be reminder twice for two separate vaccine products. 


Note: if you have converted vaccine data from a legacy system, Vetspire will send protocols for these historical vaccines too. As long as the inventory items, vaccines, prescriptions, and invoices from your legacy system are imported into Vetspire, you can set up protocols that will be triggered by these historical products, and Vetspire will send the reminders out as normal. It is important that the actual name of the imported historical product in Vetspire is tagged to the protocol. If the name of that product changes once you migrate to Vetspire, you must ensure that the product tagged to that protocol reflects that change.

 


Setting up Non-vaccine protocols (all preventatives, exams, treatments, or any other product or service in your inventory for which you want to send reminders): 


Because non-vaccine products do not have a due date field when you give them to your patients, the protocols feature will rely on either the unit duration for the product, or the default duration of the protocol to which a product is tagged, to determine when the patient is due for that particular non-vaccine protocol. You can rely on either field; if both are set, the number in the product information page’s unit duration takes precedence.


To set the unit duration on a product, go to the top toolbar, select financials, then on the left side pane under manage, select products. Find the product for which you wish to set a protocol. Click into the product information page, and find the field called unit duration (days). Enter the number of days the product has until it expires. In the below example, we have a Heartguard medication that is good for one month, so we would enter 30 days in the unit duration field. 


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If Heartguard 0-25 lbs 1 Month were tagged to a Heartguard protocol, and if this product was closed out on an invoice on January 1, 2022, then Vetspire would generate a protocol to the pet owner stating that the pet is due for its Heartguard protocol on February 1, 2022. Note: the protocol would be generated based on the cadence you have set up. In other words, if you have a cadence set up for protocol reminders to deploy one week in advance of the protocols’ due dates, then in this example, the pet owner would receive the protocol on January 25, 2022 stating that the pet is due for its Heartguard protocol in one week, on February 1, 2022. We will review cadences in more detail in another section. 


If you do not wish to make use of the unit duration field within the product information page, you can set a default duration for the protocol to which the product(s)/service(s) is tagged. You can set the default duration for this protocol in days, weeks, or years. Please keep in mind that this field will only take effect if the products tagged to this protocol do not have a unit duration set in their product information pages. If both the product’s unit duration and the protocol’s default duration are set, the product’s unit duration will take precedence in terms of when the protocol reminder will be due. 


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You may elect specific parameters per protocol if you wish, by tagging the specific species or age range that apply to the protocol. If you were to set covered species as canine, then the protocol will only deploy for canines. Similarly, if you specify an age range, the protocol will not deploy for a patient that falls outside of that age range. Finally, if you are part of an enterprise group with more than one clinic locations, you can exclude certain locations from receiving any given protocol.


Composing the description of the protocol, and the subject and body of the message

You can type a custom description that will be sent in the body of every protocol, letting the client know what the protocol is. Click into the protocol itself, and in the description field, add a short sentence or two describing the protocol to your clients.


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This description text will appear as it does in the below examples – it is meant to be a brief, client-friendly description of what the protocol is.


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To compose the subject line of the protocol, and the body of the message at the top of the message itself, click into the cadence.


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Cadences


The final step to setting up your protocols is to determine the cadences of the protocols being sent. How far in advance of or after the due date do you want your client to receive the protocol reminders? [On the left side pane, select protocols, the on the top center of the screen, select cadences.


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Click the blue create new cadence button on the right.


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Select how far in advance of or after the protocol’s due date you want the reminder to be sent, and select the method by which you want to contact the client – by email or text. You can also opt to exclude certain protocols from any particular cadence if you wish: 

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Where do the reminders display in patient chart?


You can see all active protocols that a given patient is due for in that patient’s chart, on the right side pane. Note: the name of the protocol, not the name of the product that is tagged to that protocol, will display here: 


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You can see the sent protocol messages in a few spots in Vetspire, for comprehensive record-keeping purposes.


First, the delivery status section in the protocols module itself shows all protocols that Vetspire has sent, and tracks delivery status, giving users and easy way to resend in case the delivery was unsuccessful. You can search for protocols related to specific clients, patients, or locations on this page. Please note: this information is also available through our API.

 

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Second, the record of the protocol is automatically stored as a communication in the patient chart.


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Third, the compliance dashboard (found by going to the top toolbar, selecting more, then compliance dashboard) will currently not collate all upcoming and overdue protocols. In the future, we intend to list all upcoming and overdue protocols per location here, along with a way to take action by resending or snoozing the alert, to help you keep your patients in compliance. Currently, the compliance dashboard will only display vaccines that are upcoming or overdue.  


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Frequently Asked Questions


Will my clients receive a protocol reminder for each protocol? 

The protocol reminder will group all upcoming protocols that are due in the next 30 days, into the same message, so that Vetspire is consolidating and streamlining your client communications for you, and giving your client all relevant information that they will need to act on in the near future. 

 

What if I need to adjust the due date on a protocol? 

Vetspire’s default protocol set up is meant to remind your clients for best case scenario pet healthcare needs. However, unfortunately, we know that pets get sick and so your owners may need to be reminded to follow up to receive treatment, or a product or service, sooner than the protocols’ default due dates. You have the ability to update the due date on each protocol manually, to accommodate these situations. 


To take advantage of this functionality, go to the patient’s chart, and look on the right side pane under patient reminders. All active protocols for which this patient is due will be listed here. 


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You will see a pencil icon next to each protocol. Click the pencil, change the due date for the protocol to whenever you would like it to come due, and click save reminder.


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What will happen if I update the due date of a protocol from the patient chart? 


Updating the due date of a protocol from the patient chart will be a one time override of that protocol's due date. An example may illustrate this point most clearly. Let's say you have a protocol for a product that is set to be due one a one year duration, and the protocol is due on January 1, 2023. Let's say that patient "Sally" comes in sick in March 2022, and her owner needs to be reminded to follow up on this specific protocol sooner than January 1, 2023. You would go to Sally's chart, find the protocol on the right side pane, click the pencil icon, and update the due date from Jan. 1, 2023, to, say, May 1, 2022. The expected behavior for this protocol is for it to remain due on May 1, 2022 forever. Once created, protocols on the patient sidebar never change on their own. Only re-triggering the protocol by ordering any of the products tagged to the protocol would change the date. This logic allows for Vetspire to flag protocols as "overdue" if needed; and please remember that you can create cadences that send reminder messages to clients after a protocol's intended due date. We want the protocol to show in the patient chart as overdue unless the patient comes in to receive the product tagged to the protocol. Essentially, patients need to keep coming in for services and products in order for future protocols to be triggered! 


Can I tag products with different durations and due dates to the same protocol? 


Yes! Vetspire is smart enough to recognize and accommodate different products, all of which have different due dates and unit durations, tagged to the same protocol. For instance, if I three different products, and product 1 has a 30 days unit duration, product 2 has a 60 days unit duration, and product 3 has a 90 days duration, then they could all be tagged to the same protocol, and Vetspire would generate reminders for each separately according to the respective due dates. Please note that only one protocol of any type can be “triggered” at once, so if a patient has three different products ordered all triggering a “Rabies” protocol, only the most recent product will be deemed as “the originating trigger” for that protocol. 

 

Can I generate a protocol reminder without having a product trigger it?

 

Yes! You can set up a protocol as pre-emptive to handle this scenario. For instance, if you have a patient that is a puppy, who has yet to receive a certain vaccine that is normally given at the age of one year old, Vetspire will trigger the protocol for the patient to receive this vaccine without the patient needing to receive a triggered product first. Pre-emptive protocols will automatically be triggered for all patients matching the species / age criterion of a given protocol until one of the triggered products is given. 

 

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