Smart Flow Blog

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Happier Surgery Days Happen with Smart Flow

Kat Milcke, RVT May 25, 2017 10:34:55 PM

When I was working as a veterinary technician, surgery mornings were never my favourite time of day. Don’t get me wrong, I adored the actual surgery part. You know those big windows they have in Grey’s Anatomy where doctors sit to scrutinize the current surgery? I feel like I would absolutely be a frequent flyer in one of those. Ask me to sit in on a cool surgery any day, but ask me to fill out the stacks of paperwork associated with surgery (in neat handwriting so it’s legible, please), chase the doctor to find out what drug protocol they would like to use and do the calculation, and make sure all consent forms are signed? No, thank you. I’d rather not.

Do you get wary of all the extra work associated with surgery days, too? Well, then you need Smart Flow, my friend.

Checking in 

Here’s where it starts: the checking in of the surgery patient, bright and early, and the consent form signing. In paper-using clinics, you would need to manually check them into your practice management system, verify that the information that you have is correct, print out the consent form for the surgery, then bring them into the exam room to do a quick pet check, get the forms signed, then bringing the patient to the treatment area for surgery prep. With Smart Flow, you can create your known surgery cases into Smart Flow the evening before, create a consent form at the touch of a button that the owners will need to fill out, thereby being able to verify their own information (no more misheard phone numbers or email addresses!), after which you can bring their pet into the treatment area. Sounds much easier, right? It gets better.



Premedication Calculation

You bring the animals to the back and then either need to determine a drug plan, or ask someone for a drug plan. Though, you probably tend to use the same routine drugs and dosages for the same types of surgeries, right? So all you really need to do is write down somewhere that you’re using drug x and y, then do the calculations based on the weight of the patient. Smart Flow can do that for you, you know. It can even save templates with the drugs, at set dosages, calculate them based on the given weight of the patient and write it all down for you. You can save numerous amounts of templates, doctor dependant, surgery dependant, both even, if you like. So from the patient that you’ve created in Smart Flow, with the signed consent form, you can also get a calculated drug plan based on the template that you picked. Can Smart Flow also help you during surgery? We sure can.


Surgery time

In the surgery suite, you would likely have a cap and mask on (it get’s stuffy with those masks, doesn’t it?), whilst you’re trying to monitor the patient, neatly write down values on the anesthetic sheet on your clip board, whilst trying to make sure that the patient is in a deep enough anesthetic plane without being too deep. Also while making sure they’re breathing right, making sure that you remembered to open the pop-off valve, that you keep time to give cefazolin when they need it, that fluids are running correctly. It’s a lot to deal with, isn’t it? That’s where Smart Flow can help, too. With Smart Flow’s Anesthetic sheet, you can write down values in 10 seconds, tops. It can even be auto populated for you, if you have an anesthetic monitor that connects with Smart Flow. It will even remember previously entered information, so if the resp rate is the same, you won’t even have to type anything. So you don’t have to worry about making sure you’re writing legible information, just type it in! You can record that you’re giving cefazolin, ensuring that it’s on the patient’s file and therefore will be on the billing report later to be charged. Speaking of duration of surgeries - you don’t even have to remember when anesthesia started, because as soon as you initial that you gave your induction agents, a timer will start for you, making sure you always have the exact time. Our electronic anesthetic sheet is something I think every technician monitoring surgery deserves - it’s something that’s simple, easy to use, and frees up a whole lot of your time, meaning you can focus more on your patient and how they’re doing, rather than on the paperwork.



Thrilling billing

What happens after surgery, you may ask? Well, yes, recovery. But also the billing. We want to make sure that all doses of Cefazolin were charged for. (We’ve all been there - long foreign body surgeries where you can’t quite remember if you gave 2 or 3 doses of Cefazolin and when) We want to make sure that all premedications are charged for, that fluids, medications given during surgery, food, xray’s, and other procedures like enemas are accounted and charged for. With Smart Flow, every time you indicate in a patient’s flowsheet that you did the procedure or gave the medication, if it is set as a billable item it will collect on a billing report PDF. A one-stop overview of everything that was done to the patient that needs to be billed for, perfect for end of shift billing. What makes it even better is that we connect seamlessly with some patient management systems- meaning that we can automatically charge the patient’s account. 


Have I convinced you yet that Smart Flow can be a great addition to surgery days? If I have, or even if you’re skeptical, I encourage you to visit our website at to learn more, and even to book a demo. Our demos are free, online, live, personalized one on one’s with one of our Smart Flow specialists. We can meet at a time most convenient for you, and we can give you a complete run through of what Smart Flow is, what we do, and how we can help you. Please also don’t hesitate to comment, or sent me an email at if you have any questions or comments!


Happy Surgery Day!  

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