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How CKEditor helped craft an intuitive note-taking tool for IDEXX


CKEditor 4


  • Higher satisfaction rates
  • A user-friendly product
  • A boost in productivity
  • Market share growth

IDEXX provides Practice Information Management software (PIM) for the veterinary sector, which encapsulates data on veterinary clinic visits for pets. CKEditor 4 is predominantly used in medical note-taking during consultations, but also in other parts of the software. Thanks to CKEditor 4, vets are able to focus on what really matters — caring for your pets.

Challenge: inheriting a copy-pasted mess

IDEXX first met with CKEditor inside their PIM. Unfortunately, not every CKEditor implementation on the web is tailored to particular needs. IDEXX investigated and found that CKEditor was copy-pasted into the application without any configuration effort on the part of the implementer. A lot of key features and tools were missing and it needed a stylistic rework. IDEXX also realized that their use did not fall under Open Source.

After checking out the real CKEditor’s full customization options and the vast number of features available, IDEXX decided to properly implement CKEditor 4 into their PIM. There were many areas that needed a rich-text solution, from registration, appointment scheduling and consultation to document management, messaging and diagnostics. All had to be adjusted to work well with the pre-existing common workflow IDEXX had. But the crucial part was medical notes, where vets need to quickly update patient records during consultations.

Idexx illustration

Solution: an intuitive rich text editor implemented in the right way

Think of a puppy named Fluffy. The owner brings Fluffy to the vet clinic and, after registration, the system creates a consultation which encapsulates everything that happens during this visit: the conversation about Fluffy’s condition, a picture of Fluffy’s hurt paw, its blood pressure, and other test results. All of this information needs to be added to Fluffy’s record and it needs to get there fast, before the next patient comes in.

So, in order to make medical note-taking even easier, IDEXX first optimized CKEditor 4 with image upload and table styling features like resizing and coloring cells. The team also desired text styling features like bold, underline, page break and form tools. This allowed them to create a free-form writing experience where users can design forms and documents to their needs.

Customers are used to what they know from Gmail or WordPress and CKEditor has provided us with these functionalities relatively easily.

“Customers are used to what they know from Gmail or WordPress and having those rich text features available.” — says Michael Reid, Senior Software Development Manager at IDEXX. “There are certain things you can just do and people come to expect those no matter. CKEditor has provided us with these functionalities relatively easily.”

Result: a valuable medical note-taking tool

Reid says the biggest advantage of CKEditor 4 is that it is intuitive for customers. This is because CKEditor is used in so many places all around the web that people are familiar with how it works. ”Vets are vets because they love pets,” he said. “CKEditor allows them to enter their medical notes quickly, easily and accurately. It enables veterinarians to focus on taking care of the pets instead of figuring out how to use the software.”

Currently, there are 700 practices that are using the IDEXX PIM software. This means more than 1000 veterinarians create medical notes with CKEditor 4 every day. After the release with CKEditor 4, IDEXX PIM received positive feedback and a lot of additional feature requests. They still add functionalities based on requests and try to update CKEditor 4 regularly.

Thanks to CKEditor 4, IDEXX took the medical note-taking functionality from something that was just copy-pasted to a tool that can be leveraged and gives value to their customers.

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