When it comes to making money, a business must be efficient. This is especially true for veterinary clinics. Optimizing your workflow is essential to keeping your veterinarian's productivity high. The end result will be an increase in profits and a smooth work day. Here are 6 ways to get the most out of your veterinarian’s time.
1. Templates for hospitalized patients
The best way to manage time is by not repeating the same thing over and over again. An easy way to manage this is by using templates to treat patients. Whether your hospital predominately deals with routine procedures or emergency situations, your staff should have treatment templates ready to use. It is very likely each vomiting/diarrhea case will be very similar to the next, so have a template created to use for treatments/estimates. This way the only thing that will need to be changed is anything abnormal with the patient.
2. The art of delegation (A.K.A. use your techs!)
If someone else can do it, by all means let them! Have your vets assign tasks and move on to the things they cannot delegate such as writing medical records. Remember, techs can go over vaccine information, take the history, do the nail trims, anal glands, discuss puppy/kitten behaviour and training, do heartworm tests, discuss flea treatment and heartworm prevention. Having your doctors intubate and induce anesthesia, perform blood draws, set IV catheters, clean teeth or take x-rays is not productive. Use your techs for what they were trained to do.
3. Hands off the invoice
One of the ways to easily lose time and money is by having the vets take care of the invoice. They are prone to giving discounts and might be in too much of a rush to complete an invoice properly. Well-trained staff can handle the majority of an invoice. Again, this requires a little teaching, delegation, and trust.
4. Time them (clients and vets)
Are clients and patients circulating through your hospital in a timely fashion? An easy way to test this out is to set a timer for them. For the client, see how long they wait in each area (reception, exam room with tech, exam room with vet, etc.). See if there is any pattern of hang ups. Next, clock each vet once they enter the exam room. How long do they average per patient? Keeping an exam under 15 minutes is ideal in most practices.
5. Speak in layman’s terms
In those precious 15 minutes of exam room time, it is important to keep the jargon down. A vet could spend more time explaining what big words mean instead of what is wrong with the patient. Most clients realize they spent a long time in veterinary school, but the doctor doesn’t need to remind them by spouting off a large vocabulary. Keeping the conversation simple will save them loads of time.
6. Do simple procedures outside of the exam room
Letting owners watch a nail trim or blood draw can be very distracting. Make it a protocol to send patients to the treatment room for simple procedures during an exam.This will give the vet ample time to have the client’s undivided attention.
At the end of the day, the most efficient clinics make the most money. Evaluating each veterinarian’s workflow will be important to see where they may be deficient. A simple treatment template or insistence on delegation can make all the difference in the world.