Keep the doctors doctoring


Willow Creek Pet Center in Cottonwood Heights, Utah, delegated more to its technicians to help deliver the finest patient care and client service. The results: higher ACTS, fewer client complaints, and happier staff members.

They were right.

National veterinary consultants said, "Keep the doctors doctoring and let technicians do more patient care, client service, and entering fees for every service rendered." This will keep your clients' pets—and your organization—healthier, they said. Well, we did delegate more to our technicians this year, and the results were incredible.

> One doctor said, "I actually have more time to diagnose and treat."

> The number of complaints about client waiting dropped to zero. And not one client complained about charges. Our clients simply want the very best for their pets; it's not our job to determine how much they're willing to pay.

> Both doctors' average client transaction rose 10 percent to 20 percent.

The best part: The technicians are excited about their additional patient care and client service responsibilities. We are blessed with an incredible staff of fellow animal lovers and they too want to play an important role in ensuring the best possible patient care and client service. It's our job to educate them about the best ways to achieve these goals.

Plus, staff members know that when we succeed, we have money to provide for continuing education, to pay for ever-increasing benefits, and to reward them with livable wages.

As part of our initiative, all technicians are trained to provide more assistance to the doctors. Some of the specific tasks they're doing:

> entering future medical progress exams, call-backs, and so on

> assisting in completing after surgery/hospitalization instructions and explaining them to clients

> facilitating online third-party payment applications and approvals

> filling prescriptions and educating and instructing clients on how to apply and/or administer the medications to the pets

> handling check-in and check-out in the exam rooms, which minimizes client wait times and allows clients to be hands-free while sitting with their pets

> entering fees, and

> performing call-backs.

The expanding role of technicians in veterinary practice is the norm nationally. Doctors by themselves cannot efficiently—and to the satisfaction of every patient and client—do everything. Successful veterinary hospitals use all members of their healthcare team to ensure the highest level of patient care and client service.

The entire staff is incredibly excited about all of these changes we're making. We are on our way to the best we have ever been!

Dr. Rick Campbell owns Willow Creek Pet Center in Cottonwood Heights, Utah.

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