Today's Veterinary Business

FEB 2018

Today’s Veterinary Business provides information and resources designed to help veterinarians and office management improve the financial performance of their practices, allowing them to increase the level of patient care and client service.

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Page 51 of 67

50 Today's Veterinary Business Leadership 1 Punctuality Everyone needs to be punctual — in the door, on the floor and ready to work when the shift starts. When one person is late, a negative impact can extend throughout the day. Everyone, from clients and pa- tients to the support team, suffers. Doctors need to be punctual as well and set the tone for the day. Being ready 30 minutes before the first appointment allows time for patient rounds, pre-surgical exams and client communication. Establish your hospital policy. Document it, communicate it and enforce it. Set the example if you are in a leadership position. 2 Schedule Appointments Walk-in practices typically are less efficient. They are usually high vol- ume and operate in constant chaos. Mistakes are more prominent, resulting in lower levels of patient care and lost revenue potential. The impact can be seen on three groups: • Employees: Higher levels of stress, burnout and turnover. • Clients: Longer wait times, lower levels of service and bonding, and fewer client referrals. • Patients: Rushed care, neces- sary services not offered, and lower compliance. Other than emergencies, cli- ents should be scheduled for a spe- cific time. Build urgent-care slots into your schedule and address emergencies as needed. The tran- sition is easy. Clients will appreciate the time set aside just for them and you can better predict your staffing and inventory needs. 3 Prepare for the Visit With scheduled appointments, you know what to expect throughout the day. Do appointment scheduler rounds so you know who is walking in and why. Clients should receive immediate personalized acknowl- edgement as they arrive. Be ready for the visit by doing this: • Pull the chart. • Print the treatment plan. • Print releases or information- gathering tools. • Prepare the exam room with what might be needed, such as an otoscope and vaccines. 4 Staff Appropriately Most practices say they are fre- quently understaffed. This is true in many cases. Everyone is affected when there aren't enough employ- ees to get the work done efficient- ly. Clients, patients and the veteri- nary team will feel it. If this sounds like you, it may be time to: • Hire appropriately. Build your team with the right employees. • Train appropriately. Invest in your team by offering com- prehensive training. • Staff appropriately through- out the day. The 2017 Well-Managed Prac- tice Benchmarks Study placed the optimal staff/DVM ratio at 4.2-to-1. This figure represents all staff sup- porting each full-time-equivalent doctor. Have you checked your Efficiency is something we strive for every day in practice life. But are you doing everything you can to achieve this goal? Here are some simple, commonly overlooked ways to make a big difference in the daily workflow. Leadership GETTING TECHNICAL By Sandy Walsh, RVT, CVPM The efficient practice numbers? When you are chronically understaffed, visits are rushed, ser- vices are not offered, mistakes are made and your revenue potential cannot be maximized. 5 Simplify Your Wellness Plans We all know what a dog and a cat need to stay healthy. Build your basic wellness plans around your hospital patient care models. Make them comprehensive but not overwhelm- ing. Recommend programs that will: • Prevent disease. • Improve a patient's quality of life. • Improve a client's peace of mind. • Remain flexible and afford- able for clients. Train early and train often when it comes to wellness plans. The whole team needs to be onboard so that clients are not confused by mixed messages before, during or after the visit. Keep it simple. 6 Minimize Computer Entries How many exam codes do you have? How many of them do you Follow these 10 tips to better the patient and client experience and produce a more engaged and happier team. Continued on Page 53

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