By Kobi Margolin

Recently, our family was preparing to leave the country for an international trip. Before we traveled, we wanted to make sure we received all of our appropriate vaccinations, including flu shots.

Vaccinating our first two family members, who I’ll reveal later, was easy. We were in and out of the provider’s office in less than 10 minutes. The next two family members, me and my daughter, was a different story.

I decided to get my flu shot at a major big-box retailer, who I assumed would have the information systems and processes in place to complete the vaccination delivery in a few minutes. Instead, I spent the next half-hour filling out registration forms and shopping while the pharmacists tried to figure out if the shot was covered by my insurance.

Then it was my daughter’s turn. She received her vaccination in her pediatrician’s office, which is quite sophisticated and high-tech, with an electronic health record system and digital tablet for check-in. But even her physician required us to wait 30 minutes before the inoculation, which in my daughter’s case were nose drops, but still only took a few seconds to administer.

So who were those first two family members who received their vaccinations so quickly and efficiently? They were our family’s two dogs.

Healthcare delivery—for human beings—is pretty complicated in the United States, especially when it comes to our information systems and analyzing data from other stakeholders, such as insurance companies.

Fortunately, this situation is improving. Information technology, such as our clinical data analytics application, is available to help even small practices with limited budgets more efficiently and easily analyze clinical information to improve outcomes and costs, all without requiring huge IT resources or hours of time.

As providers move to discovering new technology and are equipped with integrated, easy-to-use technology with the right workflows, we will receive the same prompt, efficient and effective care we now deliver to our pets.