Form: Sample travel sheet for veterinary practices
Travel sheets improve communication and minimize missed charges during veterinary appointments.
Vaccines, lab work, treatments, and medications-everything you do for a patient all in one place? Sign me up, says Dr. Jeff Rothstein, MBA, a Veterinary Economics Editorial Advisory Board member and president of Progressive Pet Animal Hospitals and Management Group in Michigan. For years, he's used travel sheets to track services and products used during patient visits, and he continues to refine these one-page forms.
Travel sheets are so named because they "travel" with patients and clients: from the front desk to the exam room to the treatment area and back to the front desk. They help improve communication, remind staff, and guide veterinarians in educating to clients. Everything a patient needs during a visit gets checked off, circled, and initialed.
"A travel sheet is a reminder to explain the treatment plan and the progress of an exam to the client," Dr. Rothstein says. "It's a major communication tool for clients and staff."
The travel sheet also helps the practice financially. Receptionists compare transactions listed on the travel sheet to items entered in the computer in order to catch missed charges. And a practice manager checks all the forms again at the end of every day. "You never want to call a client three weeks after the visit to say you forgot to charge for that fecal," Dr. Rothstein says.
Dr. Rothstein organizes his travel sheet according to the structure of a typical visit-first comes the exam, followed by vaccines, lab work, treatments, anesthesia, procedures, and prescribed medication.
Team members use the travel sheet during every visit from start to finish. At the front desk, receptionists circle expected care-for example, wellness exam, vaccines, heartworm test, and stool sample. Technicians and doctors add procedures and observations as necessary through a visit or hospitalization.
Dr. Rothstein has added one more innovation to his travel sheet: a carbon copy. "We take off the second sheet and give it to the receptionist to input in the computer while the team members in the back complete tasks," Dr. Rothstein says. "This saves the client time."
Click the related links below for Dr. Rothstein's most up-to-date travel sheet and more.