How Paumanok Veterinary Hospital Harnessed AI to Reclaim 50 Hours Per Week

Paumanok Veterinary Hospital was founded in 1992 by a veterinarian couple, Dr. David R. Hensen and Dr. Deirdre Hensen, showing how love and business can create something wonderful together. Its name, “Paumanok,” holds cultural significance, derived from a Native American term for Long Island, signifying “island in the shape of a fish.” 

Deeply rooted in Long Island’s heritage, the hospital actively engages with the local community. From nurturing interest among young individuals in veterinary medicine careers to advocating for environmental causes, Paumanok Veterinary Hospital remains a committed participant in local affairs. Over the years, the hospital has grown into a bustling 5-doctor practice providing care for small animals seven days a week.

Time to Change 

Until 2023, Paumanok Veterinary Hospital relied on a server-based practice management information system (PIMS). However, the system’s limitations, lack of updates, and inadequate tech support led to challenges, forcing the team to keep using paper records. Brian Bernatzky, Hospital Manager, recalls, “This outdated approach resulted in confusion and inefficiencies, especially as doctors increasingly sought the flexibility to work remotely.” Recognizing the need for change, the team decided to transition to Digitail, a modern cloud-based PIMS with integrated AI capabilities.

We explored various PIMS options, but Digitail stood out for its innovation. Choosing Digitail was a strategic move, as it continually introduces new features and enhancements. Many other PIMS are owned by corporations who are more slow-moving and inflexible, making it difficult to implement changes quickly, while Digitail’s independence promised agility and focus on user experience.

Digitail’s pioneering integration of AI technology was particularly impressive despite initial uncertainty about its potential impact.

At the time, we weren’t fully aware of how AI could benefit us, but Digitail’s forward-thinking approach was compelling. We were confident that this partnership would facilitate our progress.

The Debut Playdate with AI

When Digitail introduced its AI functionality, the team was immediately curious to try it. The team was especially excited about using AI for dictation.

To test the capabilities of Tails AI, the team gathered in an exam room for a mock session. Intentionally weaving unrelated topics such as vacations and random anecdotes into the medical exam to challenge the AI, they were astounded by the outcome.

We were all amazed by the result! Tails AI flawlessly transcribed and transformed the conversation into the SOAP format, extracting only the pertinent information. It was akin to magic. We didn’t realize it would be such a game-changer for the way we operate

Embracing New Efficiencies

Brian highlights that creating SOAP notes with AI enhances their standardization and detail in a way that manual record creation cannot achieve. It enables users to gather more comprehensive information, benefiting clients, team members, and other hospitals, especially in cases of patient referrals.

AI allows us to provide better patient care and ensure continuity throughout the process. Additionally, it’s a significant time saver. Capturing clinical records precisely during appointments eliminates the need for manual transcription or dictation of notes after the appointment. We typically review Tails’ work quickly to ensure accuracy, which usually stands at 99%.

These efficiencies also positively impact staff mental well-being and work-life balance. By automating routine administrative tasks, the hospital team can focus on more meaningful and fulfilling responsibilities, leaving behind the need to finish records after hours. 

AI is making our jobs easier without taking away the control over medical decisions. It’s like having a personal assistant who you can bounce ideas off of, get decision support and reassurance in your presumptive diagnoses. Utilizing AI’s help is far more efficient than sifting through textbooks or scouring the internet for answers. Additionally, because AI is integrated with our PIMS, it offers personalized responses tailored to our specific patients.

With Tails AI Dictation, our veterinarians are saving approximately 8 minutes per SOAP note. This translates into over 10 hours per week per DVM, and when multiplied by our team of 5, the cumulative impact is profound. Using AI allows us to see more patients, and it not only increases revenue but also leads to enhanced patient care.

Our priority is being available for our patients, ensuring they can access our services when needed. With Tails AI streamlining record-keeping tasks for our veterinarians, we can devote more time to serving our community, and that’s what matters to us.

The AI-Fueled Future of Pet Care

Brian emphasizes that AI is wrongly perceived as a new technology.

In reality, AI has been around for many years, and people have likely interacted with it more than they realize. Although previously, all it could do was provide simple answers like weather forecasts or movie recommendations, now it’s capable of suggesting treatment plans for complex medical conditions. The efficiencies AI can bring to our profession are incredibly exciting.

Despite its potential, AI is not yet fully utilized in veterinary medicine.

Imagine if AI could identify billable items from SOAP notes and automatically generate invoices, This could help eliminate missed charges, which is a significant revenue drain for veterinary hospitals.

In conclusion, Brian encourages everyone to give AI a try.

You’ll likely discover it’s more beneficial than you imagine. And if the initial results don’t meet expectations, keep refining your approach. You’ll be amazed at how rapidly it learns and adjusts to your needs and preferences. The bottom line is that we should utilize every tool that helps improve patient care, and AI is one of the best available tools.

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