Michigan Veterinary Specialists in Southfield, Mich., is a large specialty practice with a 24-hour facility. Technicians work different shifts and are constantly passing on important information about patients. "To improve communication between shifts, we made cage tags that highlight patients' special needs," says Kathy Estrada, LVT, the practice's technical services manager.
"To increase efficiency at our front desk, we maintain a very organized file-placement system, with bins for every possible function," says Sabrina Lewis, veterinary nurse at Central Broward Animal Hospital in Plantation, Fla.
It's easy to overlook the problems that come with making clients wait. We think, "Hey, it comes with the territory." We make excuses. And we hedge our bets, knowing most clients only grow dissatisfied when they wait more than 30 minutes. But that approach won't wow clients. In fact, even a short wait may leave clients disgruntled. So it's an issue you should aim to manage.
"We all want our staff members to work together as a team, but it's hard to ask this of your staff unless they know the steps to take," says Julia Culbreth, the practice manager at Jefferson Animal Hospital in Louisville, Ky.
Data shows that if your clients arrive during a busy time, their average wait for check-in and check-out can hit 21 to 29 minutes during a 42- to 49-minute visit. That's almost half their time at the practice.
At our practice, we have an inventory team that handles ordering and tracking of drugs, lab supplies, food, and so on. But we still struggle with inventory accuracy. Would establishing an incentive program for the inventory team help?