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Promote Veterinary Hospital Efficiency With a 'Doctor First' Approach

March 27, 2024

Veterinary Services Group

While a boom in pet ownership means veterinary hospitals have no shortage of patients, the swell has created growing pains in hospitals already stretched thin by labor shortages. Hospitals are now forced to adapt by evaluating processes and increasing efficiencies.

The good news is this: Even making small changes could help veterinary offices maximize time and minimize shortfalls. Here is one example – taking a different approach to wellness exams.

Typically, wellness exams begin with a technician. A pet owner will give the veterinary technician the pertinent health history and note any concerns they might have about their pet. Then a doctor enters the room and often reviews the same information, causing appointments to run longer than needed. Many veterinary hospitals are learning this traditional method may be inefficient with too much duplication between the doctor and the technician.

What if veterinary hospitals instead adopted a “doctor first” mentality? In this approach, both the doctor and technician enter the exam room at the same time at the start of the appointment. That’s exactly what some clinics are doing for wellness exams, and they are seeing surprising results.

When doctors and technicians begin an appointment together, their time in the room is maximized. Pet history is gathered, and any potential issues are discussed with the pet owner only once. Also, both the doctor and the technician are on hand to answer any questions, address any concerns, and create a plan for next steps that optimize pet care.

Hospitals using the “doctor first” method are seeing shorter exam times and the ability for doctors to move on to the next patient faster. In fact, this approach may even allow a hospital to double a doctor’s capacity.

For more benefits of the “doctor first” approach, download the Veterinarian’s Guide to Best Practices, Vol. 7.

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