What’s a PaCE (Patient Care Ecosystem) and why should vet clinics care?

In a bright modern veterinary office, a smiling veterinarian in a white lab coat and a smiling woman in a blue shirt examine a dog

The patient care ecosystem, or PaCE, might be one of the veterinary profession’s most impactful developments in recent memory. The name is new today—but if recent trends are an indicator, it won’t be long before PaCE is a household name (within the industry, at least).

Some aspects of a veterinary clinic haven’t changed in decades. There’s still a scale in the corner, and dogs are still reluctant to stand on it. Other things have changed quite a bit, though—starting with the software tools vets use to manage their workflows.

Practice information management software, or PIMS, was the first real breakthrough. Platforms like Avimark, Cornerstore, and ImproMed provided tools for managing clinic workflows that simply didn’t exist in the age of coffee-stained notebooks and Excel spreadsheets.

The second generation of these tools were cloud-based PIMS. With new features like integrations for radiology and VetCove, tools like EzyVet, Covetrus Pulse, and IDEXX Neo provided a wider range of customization than their predecessors.

And the third (current) generation? They can now handle so many aspects of running a clinic that they’re not really PIMS at all—they’ve evolved into something much more powerful.

Enter the PaCE.

How is a PaCE different from a PIMS?

Historically, PIMS have been useful for managing clinic workflows. They’ve been less useful for managing client relationships: scheduling appointments, processing bills, and so on.

Patient care ecosystems—of which Nectar is the first—can handle both. 

Like a PIMS, a PaCE can be used for internal-facing tasks like managing inventory and storing records. A PaCE’s automation makes organizing and finding files easier and more accurate, but a PIMS can work in a pinch.

However, a PaCE can also be used in ways a PIMS can’t. 

In particular, a PaCE can handle client-facing tasks like sending 2-way SMS messages, direct online scheduling, and processing intake forms. This makes a PaCE useful for long-term relationship building and education.

In short, all the services provided by PIMS like PetDesk, Weave, and AllyDVM are integrated into a PaCE—feeding two birds with one scone. 

Not only does this save clinics money on multiple subscriptions, it allows data to be shared between the PIMS side and the client-facing side and uses the insights to improve both systems.

PIMS has less visibility and more limited functionality than PaCE

To sum up the last section, a PaCE has three main advantages over a PIMS:

  1. All-in-one platform
  2. User friendly & scalable
  3. Leverages the most modern technology

These traits not only allow a PaCE to manage more of your clinic’s essential tasks, it also benefits both your staff and clients, since both can access the PaCE to add or review information. 

Here’s how that works in practice—to illustrate, we’ll use examples from our own PaCE, Nectar.

  • The all-in-one platform provides a single tool for managing complex needs like medical records, workflow management, and client-facing tools.
    • Save money on subscriptions by rolling your client portal, patient reminders, direct online scheduling, 2-way messaging into a platform that also includes medical records, inventory management, billing, and payment processing.
  • User friendly & scalable modular design makes it easy to maximize value by training new users and adding new features as needed.
    • Almost no training is required to use Nectar, which uses modern design principles to make navigation easy and intuitive, while eliminating clutter (and keeping the option to add more modules as your clinic grows and evolves). 
  • Leverages the most modern technology with powerful integrations to meet your clinic’s unique needs.
    • Not only does Nectar contain the standard PIMS integrations, it also offers newer options like VetCove for automated inventory updates and radiology integrations, along with tasteful, opt-in AI-driven technologies like voice dictation and auto-SOAP generation.

How can a PaCE help with vet clinics’ workflows?

Here we should be honest: a PaCE isn’t a miracle cure for all the tough parts of being a vet. It’s not going to soothe a Maine Coon who’s furious about getting her nails trimmed, and it’s not going to make it any easier to break hard news to a family with a sick Labradoodle.

That being said, NectarVet is working on an AI integration that would (among other things) send compassionate messages to difficult clients. Still, the biggest value a PaCE provides right now is reducing the logistical headaches that come with running a clinic, so vets can focus on the human—or canine, or feline—side of their work.

The features of NectarVet’s PaCE were designed to directly address the biggest issues our team of vets have experienced. Here’s how it could be useful for your clinic too:

  • Automated medical records, tasks, and logistics: Improve efficiency and accuracy in storing records and tracking them.
    • Auto-capture invoice charges based on treatments provided 
    • AI-assisted SOAP voice-dictation system with robust templates
    • Fully integrated lab work & radiology (IDEXX, Zoetis, Antech)
  • Deepen client relationships: Communicate seamlessly with clients directly from the app. Share educational materials in a variety of formats.
    • In-app SMS messaging & client forms 
    • Robust patient reminders and client portal
    • Declined treatment follow-ups
  • Grow clinic revenue and profitability: Increase client compliance without additional clinic labor.
    • Integrated payments (including remote payment links) with industry-low transaction rates 
    • Automated inventory updates with VetCove
    • Intuitive dashboards & reporting

In short, a PaCE can handle almost everything except wiping up the suspicious puddle in the corner of the waiting room.

Is a PaCE expensive? (Or: can my clinic afford one?)

Pricing for Nectar (our PaCE) depends on several factors: how many users need access, what kind of support package your clinic wants, and so on. Since each PaCE is tailored specifically to your clinic, a quick conversation helps us determine an accurate quote for your business.

Having said that, in the vast majority of cases, Nectar will save your clinic a lot of money. This is partly because it allows you to get all the services you need with one subscription (and cancel the others). Vet-based pricing is also available, with unlimited users. 

And finally, there are a whole bunch of fees you won’t pay with a PaCE. These include server maintenance, customer support, and data backup fees. Plus, we offer the lowest credit card processing fees in the industry for embedded payments. 

Even new clinics can afford a PaCE—in fact, NectarVet offers a new clinic program that caters to clinics just getting off the ground. The rate can be locked in for as long as you like, and it takes less than 15 minutes to learn how to use the platform.

Whatever the size or situation of your clinic, there’s a pretty good chance a PaCE could make your life easier. If you’re interested in scheduling a demo, fill out a quick form and we’ll walk you through the software whenever it works for you.

Nobody starts a vet clinic because they love pushing papers. With a patient care ecosystem from NectarVet, you can get back to focusing on what matters.