How to practice smarter not harder! Enhancing your operational efficiency (Proceedings)


Goal planning enables you to set a course of action to achieve goals and reach your objectives.

"If It Doesn't Bleed, I Don't Want To Know About It"

Goal Planning

A. Enables you to set a course of action to achieve goals and reach your objectives

1. Short-term goal planning

2. Long-term goal planning

B. Helps you to solve your problems faster and easier

C. Prepares you for what to do in case certain things happen, what to do under particular circumstances, and how you should react to future events

D. Provides the sequence of events for you to follow to improve yourself and your practice

Five Requirements of Effective Goal Planning

A. Be Specific Rather Than General. Define your goals and objectives and indicate the means for attaining them.

B. Distinguish Between The Known And The Unknown. Make your goal planning more than just anticipation and reaction.

C. Make Your Plan As Logical And Practical As Possible. Intelligent thinking would serve as the foundation for your plan.

D. Introduce Flexibility And Looseness so that the plan may readily be modified if circumstance requires it. Recognize that no plan is infallible nor can it cover all contingencies.

E. Be Sure Your Goals Are Consistent with the aims and goals of the practice.

Time Management

A. Time Management

1. What are the things that you are doing on a daily basis that you should not be doing?

a. Accounting and bookkeeping

b. Running errands

c. Problem solving

d. Personnel management

e. Inventory management

f. Ordering drugs and supplies

g. Routine laboratory procedures

h. Preparing prescriptions

i. Other

B.Set Realistic Time Frames

1 .Office hours and surgery schedules

2. "E" slots

3. Fifteen or twenty minute office calls

4. Use a well set-up appointment book

5.Be realistic in all your scheduling

C.Prioritize Your Time

1. Use a mental or written priority list on a daily basis

2.Set aside appropriate time periods

3. Break down the task into individual components

4. Do not attempt to start a component of a project unless you can finish it! (i.e. correspondence, continuing education, surgery, etc.)

Project Management

A. Define The Project

1.Breakdown the project into its individual components

2.Write the plan out

3.Set time limits


Delegation – The Key to Success

A. How to delegate effectively

B. Why some staff members resist having responsibilities delegated to them

C. Why we, as managers, fail to delegate

D. How do you rate as a delegator?

Let's Learn to Practice Smarter...Not Harder

A. Office Procedures

1. Color-coded medical records

2. Quality medical record forms

3. "Smarter" Accounting and bookkeeping systems

a. One-write receipt system

1. Well designed receipt form

2. Use the system as intended

b. Computerized cash register

c. Computerization

1. Modularized software program

2. Full Service Programs

3. Do not re-invent the wheel

d. One-write disbursement system

B. In-Hospital Procedures

1. Exam room technician procedure

2. In-hospital tracking form

3. Develop a standardized estimate book

4. Employee manual

C. Develop A "Smarter" Fee Schedule

1."Shop" your exposed fees

2. Calculate other fees based on:

a. Direct Costs at % mark-up

b. Overhead costs per minute

c. Return on time to D.V.M.

3. Review and monitor your pharmacy

a. Set % mark-up

b. Minimum per pill charge

c. Pharmacy preparation charge

d. Minimum Rx charge

Generate or Review "Smarter" Financial Documents

A. Departmentalized profit and loss statements

B. Graphs and charts

C. Aged accounts receivable

1. $4.50 billing fee

Utilize the Expertise and Abilities of Other Professionals and Staff Members



C.Tax Planners


E.Office Managers

F.Practice Managers

G.Hospital Administrators

Practice Smarter...Not Harder

A. Do not try to re-invent the wheel

B. Cut down on repetition of work

C. Make your time productive and enjoyable

D. Implement!

E. Follow-through

Specific Goal Planning for Your Practice

Focus Specifically On The More Detailed Practice Goals

1. What Gross Income Do You Want?

2. How Can You Produce This Goal?

3. Are You Satisfied With Your Net Income?

4. What Specific Steps Can Be Taken To Increase Your Net?

5. What Improvement Ideas Should You Implement This Year?

6. How Much Time Off Do You Want?

7. What Type Of Continuing Education Do You Want To Attend This Year?

8. What Improvements Need To Be Made In The Physical Plant?

9. Are Any Staff Changes Necessary?

Exam Room Technician Protocol

1. Once the receptionist has greeted the client and pulled the medical record, she should then review the record to make sure that the patient is current on all preventative procedures and indicate on the patient visit slip, as well as the medical record, why the animal has been presented.

2. The exam room technician should then be summoned and receive the medical record, at which time he or she will greet the client in the waiting room, obtain the animal's weight on the digital scale, and escort the client and patient into the exam room.

3. The exam room technician should acquire any additional background medical information necessary on the patient. If it is a medical case, the exam room technician should obtain a temperature on the animal.

4. The exam room technician should attempt to market the services of the practice, as well as inform the client about any preventative procedures necessary to their pet's health. It is also during this time that the exam room technician can answer any questions the client may have that they feel comfortable in answering.

5.The exam room technician may also wish to augment the informational process by the use of the "Exam Room Report Card."

6. At this point, the exam room technician should get any medications or vaccines that will be necessary for the office visit.

7. The doctor should then be summoned to enter the room and initiate the necessary procedures.

8. The exam room technician should remain in the room during the office visit and assist the doctor in whatever manner possible.

9. The exam room technician should, towards the end of the office visit, count out and label any prescriptions that will be necessary or obtain any discharge drugs or supplies that have been requested.

10. The exam room technician should then escort the client to the waiting room, clean the examination room, and begin the process all over again.

11. It is hopeful that once the exam room technician is more fully trained, this individual will also be able to conduct routine laboratory tests, so that he or she will be able to do fecal analysis and heartworm checks. This should be done towards the middle of the office visit once the technician has assisted the doctor with the procedures necessary.

In-Hospital Fees

Calculate your Fees Based on

• Overhead Costs Per Minute

• Direct Costs At Percent (%) Mark-Up

• Return On Time To The Doctor

Monitor Your Pharmacy

• Set % Mark-Up

• Minimum Per Pill Charge

• Pharmacy Preparation Charge

• Minimum Rx Charge

Medical Care Plan

Dermatology: Abscess

An abscess is a pocket of infection that contains pus. They often result from a bite where the skin is broken and hair and bacteria are trapped under the skin. The wound then seals and the abscess develops. This is usually quite painful and your pet could be less active and have a fever during this time. Surgical treatment is sometimes necessary to drain the abscess, then your pet will be placed on antibiotics. With severe infection, your pet will possibly need to be hospitalized following surgery.

Estimate of Costs For Draining Abscess

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Aaron Smiley, DVM
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