Skilled technicians can maximize your revenue growth.
Your practice’s greatest variable expense—your veterinary technicians—can also be your greatest asset.
If you’re struggling to meet growing client demand, your first impulse may be to think that you need to hire another veterinarian. But before you go down the recruitment road, first take a look at how you are utilizing your technicians. When leveraged properly, your technicians can maximize your revenue growth.
Don’t Wait, Delegate
You might find that your veterinarians can do much more if they use a team approach to caring for patients, where everyone has clearly assigned roles to support their teammates and get the job done.
The key to making a teamwork approach work is for veterinarians to get comfortable with delegating. Delegate tasks that do not require a license to practice veterinary medicine to the credentialed technicians on your team.
You should find that a single veterinarian can see more patients, and the technicians can help the practice produce more revenue per unique patient, while gaining greater job satisfaction from doing more interesting and challenging work.
Examples of tasks to delegate:
- History taking
- Flip-the-lip and reviewing toothbrushing with the client
- Taking temperature, weight and respiration; recording to medical record
- Nutritional education
- Vaccine education
- Laboratory screening education (such as heartworm testing)
- Obtaining laboratory samples
- Nail trimming and anal gland expressions
- Preparing vaccines for injection
- Recording medical record findings to the electronic medical record for the doctor
- Counting out and labeling medications
- Explaining medications and demonstrating their administration to clients
When veterinarians delegate these tasks to technicians, they can see two to three more patients in the same amount of total time previously limited to a single patient. And that means more money for the practice, heading straight to the bottom line.
The Value of Technicians
The latest Well-Managed Practice Benchmarks Study reported that the average staff-to-doctor ratio for medical appointment hours was 4.2 to 1, with 1.1 technicians per doctor. Leveraging those 4.2 support staff members and relying more on the technicians’ skills means that fewer recommendations are likely to fall through the cracks, and that patients will receive a higher level of care and attention. Both will mean overall higher revenue for the practice.
Investing in more technicians, training them to work with your doctors in a team approach, and then allowing them to truly use their skill sets not only generates more revenue per patient, it also brings about a higher level of workplace satisfaction for all.