Folks, we need to talk about the division of labor.
It’s one of those unsexy topics that most veterinarians have a hard time getting excited about. I’m right there with you- I studied medicine to practice medicine, not to research Excel alternatives.
Here’s the thing: building well-structured processes can have huge knock-on effects across your hospital. If there’s one thing that separates healthy clinics from unhealthy ones, it’s the way that we divvy up the different tasks that need to get done. And sure, every veterinary clinic outsources some parts of its operations. Chances are, your hospital uses an external CPA.
Why do we outsource items? Generally, we do this because certain tasks are outside of our core competencies. We provide amazing care to our patients, but we’re not expert accountants.
In addition to outsourcing, so many of our daily task items can be handled virtually. We call this virtual task utilization.
Do you know the most commonly used virtual tool in VetMed? Your PIMS! Maybe you’re using a couple of other tools to simplify and streamline different parts of your operations, but there’s a whole world of opportunity out there for clinics that are ready to make the change.
So let’s talk about the ways that we can outsource and make certain tasks virtual for smoother operations and happier clinics overall.
Why Handle Some Tasks Virtually?
It’s simple: these options are faster, more efficient, and free up space in your clinic to focus on the essentials. For processes like overnight triage, virtual outsourcing avoids staffing and training headaches while providing lifesaving service for your community.
Just as a quick example, my clinic uses:
- Talkatoo for medical dictation services. This saves time on medical records by automatically transcribing my voice into script that can go directly into the PIMS.
- Vetsource for online pharmacy needs, streamlining online client prescription requests back to my practice. This keeps revenue streams within my clinic.
- GuardianVets for after hours triage support. This gives my patients access to care without adding on-call hours to my schedule. It also drives revenue by preventing unnecessary trips to the ER.
So What Can We Handle Virtually?
Let’s start with the tasks that absolutely need to be done in-clinic.
- Greeting a client
- Physical treatments
- Physical care for patients
- Sorting mail
It’s a surprisingly short list, right? With the constant hustle and bustle of running a clinic, it’s easy to forget that not everything needs to happen within your four walls.
So what can we handle virtually? Well… a lot.
- Scheduling appointments
- Follow up calls
- Rx refill requests
- Call back reminders
- Check-in forms
To see the change in practice, let’s break down the structure of an ordinary visit.
A client calls to set up an appointment. They get a callback reminder a day or so before, and when they arrive at the hospital, they sit with their pet in the lobby as they work through the check-in forms. Either before or after the appointment, your staff runs their credit card to make a payment.
A couple days later, one of your CSRs calls to conduct a follow up.
A week after that, the client calls your clinic at 9 p.m., anxious because they’ve run out of medication and they’re convinced that they need a refill ASAP.
At each step in this process, your clinic has opportunities to streamline and offload labor. Imagine the difference:
- A client requests an appointment through an external phone service and receives an automated reminder a day or so before.
- They fill out the check-in forms and make their deposit before arriving at the clinic, so they can head right in.
- When they call late at night, the call is routed to an external triage team. The refill request is submitted as a form that your team can handle in the morning.
Well, it depends on your goals.
If your practice is overwhelmed, reducing the number of elements you’re taking care of in-clinic gives your staff some room to breathe. No more losing techs to cover the phone lines.
Ready to grow? Integrating a virtual toolset can free up your staff to focus on the most important elements of their work, and the additional space is a huge opportunity for growth.
Looking to better serve your community? Hybridizing in-person and virtual approaches to your practice can reduce hold times, streamline visits, and open up new touchpoints throughout the life of the pet.
We came to VetMed because we love animals and we care about making a difference in their lives. Figuring out tech solutions can feel like a distraction or an unwanted complication in that journey.
These decisions aren’t an ancillary part of running a practice, though. They’re fundamental building blocks that shape the long-term trajectory of a hospital. For your staff, clients, and patients, it’s worth taking a long, hard look at your fundamental processes.
Whether you need help with phone overflow, appointment scheduling, triage, or virtual communications, GV’s team of experienced veterinary professionals can help. Learn more about our toolset here.