Improve Veterinary Clinic Efficiency and Increase Practice Revenue
Busy veterinary practices are often bombarded by the unexpected, so they improvise just to make it through the day. But veterinary clinic efficiency depends on proper systems and workflows. A cumbersome or disorganized process may do more than just drive you and your staff crazy — it can also frustrate your clients and affect your bottom line.
Here are a few tips to help you improve your veterinary clinic efficiency and increase your practice revenue as a result.
Refine Protocols in Your Practice Management Software
Consider how much time it takes for veterinarians to dictate every test, treatment, and medication to the support staff for every case they see. Written medical protocols are guidelines for the entire team to follow for maximum efficiency and consistency.
Creating standard medical protocols or groupings in your practice management software can boost efficiency and consistency in your daily workflow. Medical protocols or groupings will also improve fee capture and compliance with the best treatment care plans. While there may be some pre-loaded treatment care plans in your practice management software, you should refine yours based on your practice's specific standards.
Establishing protocols and entering them into your practice management software will support your team in a number of ways:
Before the appointment: On a client's first phone call, your receptionists will be able to give them information about possible testing and treatment options, before they even come into the practice.
At the appointment: Technicians can acquire a thorough history from the client and recommend and perform baseline testing according to the medical standards your practice has adopted. Then, the veterinarian will already know the results of the test before entering the exam room.
After the exam: While the veterinarian is informing the client about treatment, the technician can anticipate recommendations and prepare an estimate for the client. Once the client has agreed to the treatment plan, the technical team can start the plan without having to seek additional instruction from the veterinarian.
This process streamlines your daily workflow, allowing the practice to offer more appointments each day.
Identify and Eliminate Bottlenecks
With so much information being relayed from veterinarians to staff to clients and back again, the lost minutes add up quickly. You can start fixing the problem by pinpointing where you're losing precious time to communication bottlenecks. Then, you can win back time and eliminate that dreaded back and forth with technology tools that let all staff members see the necessary information at a glance. Automating this communication process will increase efficiency and your bottom line.
Implement High-Density Scheduling
If your practice has the resources — including enough exam rooms and highly trained support staff — high-density scheduling is a great way to improve veterinary clinic efficiency and boost revenue. It allows you to offer more appointments during your hours of operation. With high-density scheduling, exam rooms — not doctors — are scheduled. For optimal efficiency, assign each veterinarian to two exam rooms. Because you now have medical standards and protocols in place, your support team is able to do more. You can schedule multiple appointments in multiple exam rooms simultaneously for each veterinarian, and your veterinarians can see up to eight appointments per hour, which is four times the industry average.
Make Staff Assignments Daily
If you're a multiple-doctor practice and you're fully staffed, you should clearly delineate each person's main "post" for the day. That doesn't mean team members can't help each other when there is a need. But when every person understands their role and priorities each day, workflow efficiency and personal accountability will improve.
Increasing veterinary clinic efficiency will produce a number of benefits, including improved employee morale, better patient care and client service, and higher practice revenue.