Companion Animal Growing Pains

Companion Animal Specialty and Emergency Hospital has rapidly become a networking hero in North West Chicago. They serve the demands of area veterinarians and clients with specialized internal medicine, physical therapy and skilled surgical services.

Their practice grew from a need in 1997 to help general veterinary staff with after-hours and weekend emergency coverage. Facility staff met regularly with local veterinarians to coordinate care and work collaboratively together to better meet the needs of a growing residential area. This referral arrangement proved so successful that Companion Animal has been able to reinvest in shared technology and services that benefit coordinated care across all participating veterinarian offices.

The Companion Animal Model

A single veterinary practice focused on common pet care needs can struggle to afford high tech scanning equipment for their clients, but when multiple offices refer patients for specialty services to Companion Animal, those costs can be reinvested to benefit providers across the area. This, along with superior quality care, explains how Companion Animal rapid growth to include hydro therapy and full CT scans as well as detailed MRI digital imaging.

The facility also boasts several state-of-the-art surgical rooms that allow their board certified team of surgeons to effectively manage nearly any critical situation. The facility also has many of the same operations as those housed in a human hospitals including a blood bank, laboratory testing facility and pharmacy as well as a complete physical therapy area which even provides acupuncture.

Growing Pains

Companion Animal recently expanded to an office space nearly double their original size which necessitated some process changes. DLS has been the go-to IT partner for networking services for quite some time, helping ensure their specialized digital equipment ran smoothly. As the practice has grown, DLS’ Unified Communications through our Hosted PBX platform has help staff keep up with demand and work together better.

When every second counts, collaboration between specialty areas is critical. Ross Oliver, Office Manager, explains, “Before the expansion, all of our extensions rang when a call came in. We wanted to be responsive as calls came in, no matter what time we received them. We also used the intercom function because, as our office space expanded, we found it easier to stay connected with each other.”

Today, Companion Animal is looking to add full-time receptionist call answering so that dedicated staff can become experts in all of the features their Hosted PBX offers. “I know there are features we aren’t using yet, but could be,” said Oliver. “It will be nice to get staff fully trained and have DLS help us take advantage of even more collaboration tools that can help.”

DLS is working with Companion Animal to schedule specialized training on specific modules and a full system overview to help them realize more efficiency as their practice grows. As service and timeliness is paramount to their businesses, it is imperative that their services providers help them rise to the challenge.

For more information on Companion Animal, please see their website at

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