Focus on flow in veterinary practice


Drs. Russ Patterson and Allen Johnson share more details about their journey to building their dream veterinary practice.

Drs. Russ Patterson and Allen Johnson faced many zoning issues during the planning and building process. Zoning rules required them to redo and move sidewalks and regulated the plantings and landscaping. And a key battle occurred over which direction the practice’s entrance would face. Zoning laws required businesses to face the main street. The doctors argued that their often sick and stressed patients needed a quiet way to enter the hospital. They won the fight and put the entrance close to the parking lot, near the residential street. Their monument sign landed facing the main street. As an added bonus, this approach saved some existing trees.

Dr. Patterson says the process took patience, and it helped to have a patient spouse and a good business partner who shared his vision.

Dr. Johnson agrees that patience is critical. “You have to expect there will be bumps in the road,” he says. “You’ve just got to work through them.”

As a surgical practice, a primary goal for the new facility was to create more operating rooms and surgical space than the previous facility offered in downtown Seattle. “Surgery was the area where we were adamant about having enough large rooms, and we wanted to set it up correctly with the right flow for the entire process from the surgical prep through to post-op recovery,” Dr. Patterson says.

Dr. Johnson agrees. “We concentrated on the flow of our surgical patients to get them under anesthesia, to radiology, and into surgery, and often back to radiology afterwards,” he says.

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