When you first started out in the veterinary field, you probably had everything down pat. Managing your schedule was easy because, well, your book of business was lean. As a practice grows, however, it becomes much more challenging to keep up with the day-to-day operations while still remaining profitable. If your team always seems busy, but the work never seems to fully get done, it may be due to inefficient processes. Here are seven simple ideas for making the most effective use of everyone’s time and driving a more efficient, profitable veterinary practice performance.
How much time does your staff waste pulling physical files and managing client paperwork? The answer might surprise you. Thankfully, there’s a relatively easy and incredible effective solution: going paperless. By transitioning from physical to electronic records, you’ll free up your staff to focus their time and efforts on more critical business initiatives, such as growth and revenue expansion. And your clients will enjoy a more positive experience as well, which means greater retention rates.
You probably already have a computer terminal at your front desk, but that doesn’t mean you’re taking advantage of technology as much as you could be. In fact, the most efficiently run veterinary practices are the ones that adopt and embrace emerging tech options. For instance, you could use tablets to speed up the check-in process or implement a faster printer to improve the checkout experience. Not only do these things make the lives of your team members easier, but they’ll also improve client satisfaction as well.
Get a Partner
You are busy trying to build your business. You don’t have time to focus on things like marketing campaigns and other new client generating techniques. Yet, these things are critical to your practice’s continued profitability. Working with a partner, like DVMelite, can help you better optimize your time by ensuring that these important practice growth activities are continuously performed while also shifting much of the heavy lifting from your team to your partner’s shoulders.
Invest in Training
Your staff is capable and competent, but are they up-to-par on their industry knowledge? Ongoing training can help your staff stay on the cutting edge of performance, enabling them to better optimize their time. For example, investing in front desk training and implementing a script can help improve first call resolution, saving time and allowing your receptionist to allocate their energy and expertise to other tasks and initiatives.
For many practice owners, this concept is easier said than done, but it’s absolutely critical if you are to optimize your time most effectively. The fact is, you don’t need to be involved in every task that occurs within your practice. Doing so will only lead to burnout. When you delegate a portion of your to-do list to your team members, on the other hand, you’ll be freed up to focus on building your business, your staff will feel empowered and your practice will run more efficiently, which is better for everyone.
Refine Your Scheduling
One of the biggest killers of practice efficiency is poor staff scheduling. When there aren’t enough people on deck to handle the daily tasks, everyone suffers, including your clients who will experience delays and other frustrations. Make sure you are being strategic about your scheduling. For instance, if you know one doctor will be in surgery all day, be sure that there are enough supporting staff members on hand to handle things in his or her absence. This will keep things running smoothly and on time.
Automate Wherever Possible
Another simple yet highly effective way to improve practice efficiency and subsequent profitability is to leverage automation technology whenever possible. This may include automating certain internal tasks and workflows as well as external activities, such as lab results. When manual, routine tasks are shifted from human to machine, not only does the work get completed faster, but the risk of human error also dramatically decreases.
These are seven simple ideas for helping optimize your time to improve efficiency, productivity, client service, and as a result, increase your profitability. Often times it’s the little things we do that can add up to big, measurable results and in this case, these small changes can produce great rewards.
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