Efficiency in a Veterinary Practice: What Does it Really Mean?

Written by Samantha Walker, RVT
Veterinary efficiency

“Efficiency” is a hot topic in veterinary circles these days. And no wonder: we’ve faced unprecedented uncertainty and nonstop changes, and practitioners are hungry for ways to improve workflow that will benefit their teams, clients, patients—or all three. This got us thinking... what does efficiency really mean in a veterinary practice?

To many, efficiency conjures up a zen-like environment where clients and patients effortlessly float through the hospital. Phones are answered on the first ring. Staff’s smiling faces show nary a hint of stress. Clients are always happy, and they’re always on time... wouldn't that be the dream? This perfect state may not be completely realistic, but we think that real-life efficiency can absolutely make life better in veterinary practices everywhere.

Take those areas in your clinic’s workflow that are chronic bottlenecks. Maybe it’s patient intake at the start of the day or attempting to write up SOAPs between appointments. Or the time your receptionist spends calling appointments for the next day. And let’s not forget the bottomless pit of printing, scanning, filing and shredding that needs to be addressed. You can probably think of a dozen more small pieces of workflow that could be improved to make the entire day go more smoothly.

To us, efficiency in these cases simply means using clinic resources such as time, staff, or inventory, in the most productive way possible. Your technicians can spend their time with patients instead of paperwork. Receptionists can update a pet owner without putting them on hold. It means optimizing inventory monitoring and invoice payments to avoid hours dealing with discrepancies created by human error. And it feels like having more control over how your practice runs.

No, efficiency does not mean perfection. But if your tech-savvy technician can spend an extra 30 minutes jazzing up your clinic’s social media feed (or maybe even just getting a decent lunch break) think of what a difference that would make.  By eliminating outdated and manual methods that exist simply because they’ve “always been done that way” and replacing them with the best veterinary solutions available, it can open up a world of opportunities for growth for veterinary team members and businesses alike.

Don’t get us wrong. There will still be dogs barking, phones ringing, and passing moments of chaos. But without those, it wouldn't be the world of veterinary medicine we all know and love, would it?


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