What's holding veterinarians back from building?


If a small budget is squashing your dreams of building a new veterinary hospital, check out these money-saving solutions.

To build or not to build? It’s a question that has probably crossed your mind at some point in your career. Whether you’re an owner who has outgrown your current hospital or an associate toying with the idea of starting your own practice, choosing the right time to start your project can be tricky—and essential to success.

So are you ready to bust out the hammer and start building, remodeling or renovating a veterinary practice? A whopping one in four of you are doing it, according to the 2013 Veterinary Economics Business Issues Survey. Look at the data below and then check out the sidebar on the next page to discover the best ways to make every expensive square inch count if you do decide to build. After all, in this recovering economy, the time has come for smaller, more efficient floor plans, says veterinary architect Dan Chapel, AIA.

Build a multi-purpose practice and save big

These four additions will actually subtract space from your floor plan, according to Dan Chapel, AIA.

1. Resource room.

This space in your practice can serve as a staff lounge or break room. It can also be used as a conference room for meetings. Add a couple book shelves and it can be a great library for clients and staff, Chapel says.

2. Mini-treatment stations.

If you set up areas for your staff to perform simpler procedures you can reduce the size of your treatment rooms. “That way doctors could remove sutures out of the back of exam rooms,” Chapel says.

3. Express checkout.

If clients are able to check out in an exam room, this will eliminate the need for a huge cashier desk up front. “It will extend the time pet owners spend in exams but clients love the convenience,” Chapel says. Plus it prevents congestion in the front of the clinic.

4. Free-standing kiosk.

Installing computer kiosks throughout the hospital can eliminate the need for multiple offices. For more advice on how to stretch your budget visit



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