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A Tale of Two Practices and the Veterinary Minute

As we explore the dynamic world of veterinary medicine, we find ourselves in two clinics that, at first glance, appear quite similar. Both are led by committed professionals, devoted to providing care for our much-loved pets. However, a notable distinction sets them apart: time.

July 30, 2023
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The Essential Minute

In Clinic A, veterinarians find themselves multi-tasking. They manage appointments, track inventory, and handle a flurry of admin tasks. In contrast, Clinic B's veterinarians focus their expertise on patient care. They trade administrative minutes for what we might call "veterinary minutes", moments dedicated to their core purpose: clinical work and patient-care.

While this distinction might appear minuscule, it packs significant implications. In Clinic B, they have reimagined their administrative functions to create an environment that thrives on the power of delegation and digital technology.

Impact of Non-Clinical Minutes

Consider two similarly sized practices, each with three veterinarians working eight hours per day. In Clinic A, each vet spends about 30% of their time, approximately 2.4 hours per day, on administrative tasks. However, Clinic B has whittled this down to just 10% of the day, or 0.8 hours, through effective task allocation and digital aids.

This difference of 1.6 hours per vet per day, when multiplied across three vets, results in an extra 4.8 hours per day or 24 hours per week. That's equivalent to having an additional vet for three days each week!

Let's now reframe this in terms of potential revenue, using an average figure of $450 per hour - a more accurate reflection of veterinary value, particularly in regions such as Australia. Clinic A's vets doing administrative work could equate to lost revenue of $1,080 per vet per day, or $3,240 for all three. On the other hand, Clinic B's potential lost revenue is a mere $360 per vet per day, or $1,080 for all three.

That's a staggering difference of $2,160 per day, or $10,800 per week, in potential revenue lost to administrative tasks. Over a year, Clinic A could be forfeiting over half a million dollars in revenue compared to Clinic B.

Clinic A Clinic B Diff.
Number of Vets 3 3
Percentage of day on admin 30% 10% 20%
Hours Spent on Admin per Vet per Day 2.4 0.8 1.6
Hours Spent on Admin for all Vets per Day 7.2 2.4 4.8
Revenue per vet/hr $450 $450 $0
Potential Lost Revenue per Vet per Day $1,080 $360 $720
Potential Lost Revenue for All Vets per Day $3,240 $1,080 $2,160
Potential Lost Revenue for All Vets per Week $16,200 $5,400 $10,800
Potential Lost Revenue for All Vets per Year $842,400 $280,800 $561,600

The Wellbeing Factor

Yet, it's not solely about the bottom line. The impact of misallocated veterinary minutes extends to the very heart of the practice - the team. The opportunity cost of veterinarians doing admin work is not only the revenue but also the potential erosion of the team's sense of purpose and autonomy at work.

While this financial reality is startling, it's just one part of the picture. More than the revenue, what's at stake is the overall well-being of the veterinarians. If we refer to Daniel Pink's theory of autonomy, mastery, and purpose as the drivers of motivation, we can see that administrative tasks rob vets of these essential elements.

At Clinic B, the veterinary team can master their roles, spending their time more autonomously on tasks that bring them fulfilment - diagnosing, performing surgery, and providing comfort to pet owners. Meanwhile, Clinic A’s team faces the likelihood of job dissatisfaction, burnout, and high turnover rates. This, in turn, threatens the overall well-being of the clinic, creating a ripple effect that touches the patients, the clients, and the business.

The Precious Commodity

Time is a valuable commodity, particularly for highly skilled vets. At Clinic B, they’ve acted on this truth. They understand that each minute a vet spends on administrative work is a minute lost from diagnosing, performing surgery, or reassuring a concerned pet owner.

Over at Clinic A, the tale is different. Vets are repeatedly pulled from their central role to attend to admin duties. These distractions might appear harmless, but they can trigger a cascade of consequences. Over time, this misallocation can give rise to job dissatisfaction, staff burnout, and high turnover rates, with reverberations impacting the clinic's financial health.

Tech-Driven Efficiency

How then does Clinic B circumnavigate these pitfalls? They harness the power of innovative technology, like Vedi. Adopting a robust tech solution enables them to automate routine tasks and eliminate the nonessential, freeing their veterinary team to focus on their core function – patient care.

The tech does the heavy lifting, streamlining administrative work, and allowing the veterinarians to concentrate on what truly matters.

Resounding Effect of the Veterinary Minute

The approach employed by Clinic B illuminates an important insight that has eluded Clinic A: The veterinary minute is a force to be reckoned with in the realm of veterinary practice. By optimising administrative efficiency, they make room for superior patient care, boost vet job satisfaction, and simultaneously uplift the clinic's revenue.

In the face of a growing staffing shortage, this way of thinking is critical. Maximising the veterinary minute offers the key not just to survive in these challenging times, but to thrive. It's good for the team, it's good for the patients, it's good for the clients - and yes, it's good for business too.

Time to Take Action

There's no denying the transformative power of maximising the veterinary minute. It’s a path that leads to happier vets, healthier pets, more satisfied clients, and a thriving business. The key lies in improving administrative efficiency, which can be achieved in a myriad of ways.

If you're interested in exploring how Vedi can support your clinic’s ambitions to enhance administrative efficiency, liberate your vets from unnecessary tasks, and focus more on patient care - we're here to help.

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