Does it ever seem like you’re always chasing your tail (no pun intended), and that your team always seems to be overloaded with work? Yet, for some reason, there always seems to be things left on the to-do list at the end of the day? Do your employees routinely complain about not having enough time to get their projects done? The good news is, you don’t necessarily have to hire additional staff or try to squeeze more hours out of an already busy day. The solution could be as simple as adopting more efficient processes. Let’s take a look.
One of the biggest time wasters in any business, including the veterinary industry, is manual processes. If you and/or your team are still relying on things like hand-written schedules and antiquated systems like Excel to manage the practice, your time is not being used optimally. Technology has dramatically improved the way veterinary practices run, and if you’re not on board, you’re missing out. Start by adopting a practice management software and consider using things like electronic tablets and iPads to streamline processes and manage communication.
There’s no need to reinvent the wheel. Templates can do wonders for maximizing efficiency in a veterinary practice. Start with patient care templates. Imagine having ready-made, preformatted discharge forms so all you have to do is fill in the blanks and check off the boxes. How much time would that save? The same can be said for outpatient exams, dental records, anesthesia and surgery logs, etc. The good news is, most of the popular practice management software programs already have templates built-in. All you have to do is customize them to your practice and you should be good to go.
Transitioning to a paperless practice is about more than just cleaning up your clinic and making it look more organized. The amount of time your team wastes shuffling paperwork, completing forms and looking for documentation can all be recouped by moving to an electronic records system. Plus, how much nicer would it be to have everything you need right at your fingertips without having to dig through files or rely on a staff member for help? You’ll be able to do your job better and your team will be able to focus their skills on more important tasks.
Many practice owners mistakenly believe that scripts are only for receptionists. In reality, they can – and should – be used throughout every area of the clinic. Not only does it save time, but it also facilitates a more consistent client experience. For instance, when a client asks about heartworm or feline leukemia, regardless of who they happen to be speaking with (front desk, technician, etc.), they should receive the same answer. Make a list of the most commonly asked questions, develop a response for each and then make sure every member of the team is properly trained and has access to this documentation.
Manage Inventory with Barcodes
Another huge efficiency killer is inventory management. But it’s a necessary task if your practice is to remain profitable. Switching to a barcode system can literally shave hours off your schedule while also cutting down on errors and ensuring that your inventory is accurately being tracked and monitored.
These are just a handful of ways you and your team can make better use of the precious time that’s available on a daily basis. Oftentimes it’s these little changes that can really add up to major value if you just give them the opportunity to flourish. Put one or all of the above strategies to work in your practice and watch as the productivity rises and stress levels drop.