How to speed up a slow doctor.
In their desire to offer quality care, some veterinarians can't resist engaging clients in long-winded conversations. But when all that chatting derails the day's schedule, you must take action. Try these tips, courtesy of Sheila Grosdidier, BS, RVT, Firstline Editorial Advisory Board member and partner at VMC Inc. in Evergreen, Colo.
Establish a signal. Agree with the doctor on a sign that signifies only a few minutes remain in the appointment. Ideas: Turn a pen on the desk 90 degrees, rearrange a few items in the cabinets, or open and close a drawer.
Interrupt. Ask veterinarians if they'd like a team member to step into the exam room to say the next patient is ready. "Doctors appreciate this because it doesn't make it look like they're rushing the client, but they do need to keep the schedule moving," Grosdidier says.
Go digital. If doctors use computers in the exam room, download an instant message program that lets you send a note that the end of the visit is near. "It's easy to set up, and it won't cause much of a disruption," Grosdidier says.
If your veterinarian still runs past the allotted time, discuss what you can do to help. Ask the doctor, "Is there anything I could be doing differently?" or "Would you like to have appointments scheduled differently?" Make it clear you want to stay on schedule for the success of the practice. Then your persistence will pay off.