Consider the veterinary practice with three full-time veterinarians. It’s a beautiful, state-of-the-art facility with four exam rooms. This practice is open seven days a week and offers evening hours Monday through Friday but this practice struggles financially. Why? The problem was that they didn’t use their facility to capacity, resulting in a lack of profitability. In an attempt to meet client’s needs, they had spread out their office hours and surgery, resulting in very high support staff costs without the income to support the extra overhead.
This is not unusual. Practices stretch out hours for various reasons, which can affect their profitability. In this example, the practice could support two or three doctors working at any one time. If the practice had two doctors seeing appointments while another doctor did surgery, their overhead costs would not change dramatically and they would generate more income per hour. This would result in increased profitability and they’d be practicing smarter, not harder!
Evaluate your office hours. Consider client needs but don’t let be the only consideration. Determine your office hour and surgery schedule and then schedule support staff to appropriately leverage your doctors. Consider how you schedule your appointments – 10-minute flex scheduling assigns the appropriate amount of time for the appointment and the visit charge is based on the time scheduled.
When scheduling surgery, consider the number of doctors and demand for surgery. Scheduling surgery first thing in the morning allows a veterinarian to get more done. Then the doctor gets a lunch break and can be scheduled for afternoon office visits.
Time Management Scheduling
When determining a doctor’s schedule, consider additional duties that may be required of the doctor. Time spent managing the practice or orienting new associates needs to be scheduled.
Next time we’ll take a look at a schedule that maximizes doctors’ time and productivity within the practice.