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Walkie-talkies keep this practice connected. Could this gadget help your team?

Using walkie-talkies was a strategy that began strictly in our kennels several years ago, but these gadgets now act as our chief communication mechanism hospital wide. We built our new facility in 2003 and doubled our square footage, which hurt our client response time and team communication. And then we began using walkie-talkies. They cut our response time and client wait time and improved client and team communication. The price is minimal when you think of the time we save in unnecessary running around.

We give every receptionist, in-patient nurse, and kennel attendant a walkie-talkie. When clients call, rather than paging over the intercom system or running around the hospital looking for the patient's nurse, the receptionist simply calls the nurse over the walkie-talkie. The same holds true for boarding admissions and discharges, hospitalization discharges, inventory inquires, and more.

The walkie-talkies cost about $40 each from the local electronics store. We also purchase warranties, which pay for themselves. We've received replacements for the ones that've been dropped or damaged from excessive use. We use these communication tools so much that we don't want to do without—even for a little while.

Angie Hartin uses walkie-talkies to communicate efficiently at Hawthorne Animal Hospital in Glen Carbon, Ill., where she is the bookkeeper and assistant practice manager.

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