A Virtual Waiting Room Added to Services at the APA Adoption Center

IMG_20180417_004229 (1)Some visitors first stop is to see the dogs and cats looking for homes at the APA Adoption Center. It is fun, rivaling the birthday parties, pet showers, or some of the educational classes and workshops at the center.

My first stop at the center in Brentwood, Missouri near Saint Louis is usually the wellness clinic. One of the busiest areas of the adoption center, it serves over 10,000 pets each year.

IMG_20180214_123057The wellness clinic is where veterinary staff perform health screenings, vaccinate against disease and spay or neuter each pet prior to adoption. The APA wellness clinic is open to the public offering low-cost exams and vaccinations for pets.

I’ve found it to be a great place to meet adorable animals and great pet parents while they wait to see the veterinarian or pick up medication. The clinic reception area is a favorite hunting ground in my search for interesting stories about animal adoptions and the role pets play in their daily lives. Many owners like to share what makes their pet special. No matter how hectic life gets, our pets are there for us.


I’ve seen fewer people and pets in the APA Wellness Clinic reception and intake area. It isn’t that there are fewer pets and people visiting, they just aren’t sitting and waiting as long anymore.

Technology is helping to take the wait and crowded waiting room out of the APA Wellness Clinic. Anyone can get in a virtual line to see a veterinarian.

It is easy to join the virtual queue from home, the office, or on the run using your phone. You’ll receive text updates and notifications on forecast wait times so you and your pet can wait where you want.photo-1423666639041-f56000c27a9a

The QLess platform in use now at the APA clinic helps people around the world every day to avoid wasting time in line at license offices, hospitals, and businesses.

“We give time back to millions of people who otherwise would have to waste time standing in line,” explains Dr. Alex Bäcker, CEO of Qless.

This technology makes it simple to get in line at the APA Wellness Clinic from home, the office or even on-the-go using your phone. The text notifications allow pet parents to stay updated about estimated wait times and when they are next in line.

“With the QLess App we’re always looking for ways to incorporate technology and improve customer service. By reducing time spent in our waiting room we can better serve people and their pets,” says Kim Brown, APA Director of Operations and Vice President.

unnamedIt is easy to join the line, just send a text message “APA Clinic” to 417-720-2235. APA clinic clients will receive a text confirming your place in the queue.

Or pet owners may join the line via a computer by visiting APA website and the virtual waiting room at https://apamo.org/pet-services/virtual-waiting-room/.

The QLess notification is not an appointment time or reservation, but a way to give APA Wellness Clinic clients freedom and flexibility to wait wherever they want.DrD

The clinic’s hours are 10 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Monday – Saturday. The APA is centrally located in Saint Louis County at 1705 South Hanley Road with easy access to interstates 64 and 40.

Learn more about the many community programs at the APA Adoption Center or how to bring home a furry friend at https://apamo.org/


Small Business Tip: Free Small Business Security Guide

How secure is your business computer system?
October is Cyber Security Awareness Month, and there is a special offer for SBTV.com viewers and small business owners from  the National Institute of Standards and Technology. 

It is a free guide to help small businesses and organizations understand how to provide basic security for their information, systems and networks. 

The guide, Small Business Information Security: The Fundamentals, was authored by Richard Kissel, who spends much of his time on the road teaching computer security to groups of small business owners ranging from tow truck operators to managers of hospitals, small manufacturers and nonprofit organizations. The 20-page guide uses simple and clear language to walk small business owners through the important steps necessary to secure their computer systems and data.
blogpainPlease follow me on Twitter to learn more about small business trends and events to give you a competitive edge in business at http://twitter.com/danitablackwood

Where is the sticker for my computer? How do you handle it?

There is a sticker on the windshield of my car, reminding me every time I get behind the wheel my car is due for an oil change.  The ever present reminder may go ignored, but I always know just how overdue I am to see my neighborhood mechanic for a check-up. 

My computer is a different story.  I have several packages of Web protection, but I admit I am a little hazy on just when the machine gets attention.  It seems I am not alone.  More than 80 percent of users do not follow a regular maintenance schedule for their personal computers, according to a survey from Staples Inc.

Staples is best known for selling office supplies, but its EasyTechs unit is also a technology service provider helping the self-employed, small business, and consumers keep technology working at full potential.

In a recent media release, Staples noted a majority of the work performed by their EasyTechs “involves reactive repairs that could have been prevented, saving costs and computer down-time” and that PC owners should consider regular tune-ups and check-ups of their PCs.”

Is your computer or technology in need of a little TLC?  How do you keep up with the maintenance on your office equipment?  Let me know if you have a system you want to share!  Go to www.sbtv.com and click on community to share your ideas.

New Risks on Social Networking Sites Could Cost You $$$

I am among the many people using social networking sites to keep in touch with friends and business contacts.  But there is a threat to the connections and sharing:  an online spoiler in the form of “koobeface” worm

The latest online threat arrives as an invitation from a user’s friend or contact, inviting them to click on a link and view a video at a fake YouTube site and install an Adobe flash plug-in.
Instead, the worm installs a Trojan program, giving control of the infected user’s computer according to security experts.

Trend Micro, which documented the new strain, recommends using caution when clicking on links in unsolicited messages, even if they appear to come from someone you know.
Also, don’t install applications or programs you aren’t looking for and research any program before installing!
This warning is one of several recent attempts by scammers to exploit social networking sites.  I read InformationWeek’s Thomas Claburn’s recent report on a link showing up on Facebook possibly harvesting personal information.
There are many ways to protect your personal and business data; a big one is education for computer users.  SBTV.com has a number of streaming video segments on computer security, articles and podcasts to keep you informed on threats.