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Doing more with less: working more effectively–part 2 (Proceedings)

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Nov 01, 2010

What Does it Mean to Work "Smarter"? (cont'd)
15. Take advantage of the individuals who want to volunteer in your practice.
     • Let them take care of:
     • Plants
     • Laundry
     • Exercising pets
     • TLC post-op
     • Cleaning cages
     • Sweeping hair in the middle of the day
     • Greeting clients and pets
     • Overseeing a client hospitality center

16. Use readily available organizational aids like:

     • In/out board
     • File organizers
     • Flip signs for exam room doors to indicate occupancy
     • Drawer organizers
     • Mail boxes for all staff
     • Lockers for team members
     • Cabinet for extra office supplies
     • Dry marker boards — inpatient needs, medications for patients, surgery patients and their procedures
     • Cage cards
     • Patient ID necklaces
     • Cage caddies

17. Drug/fluid dosing tables

There are so many calculations to be made during a typical day in a veterinary practice — antibiotic doses, fluid flow rates, anaesthetic and analgesic doses. Every time someone makes a calculation there is a chance for a mistake. Unfortunately, even a small miscalculation can spell disaster for an animal patient.

For commonly used medications — e.g. anaesthetic agents, CRI drugs, euthanasia drugs — consider creating files in Microsoft Excel that show volume doses of drugs in 0.2 # increments. Having these doses pre-calculated eliminates an important risk for miscalculation.

Place the printed materials into page protectors in a 3 – ring binder in a central location in the treatment area. Make two notebooks if you need to. The key is to make it easy for everyone to do things absolutely correctly.

18. Label drawers & cabinets in your treatment area.

Precious minutes can be wasted looking for what you need to assist a patient. It will take only a short time to up-shift the organization of the treatment area to make it much more "user friendly". The timesavings will make the time investment in labeling well worth the effort. Use drawer organizers wherever possible to facilitate finding what you need.

19. Use laminated erasable travel sheets.

Most veterinary software companies have travel sheets programmed into them. Travel sheets have columns of the practice's service codes (without fees) on them for the nurses and veterinarians to circle. All services that are rendered are circled on the sheet for the receptionist to enter by simply glancing at the form. Either laminate the sheet or place it into a plastic page protector. Then use overhead projector pens for marking.

20. Save time with patient report cards and other no-carbon-required forms.

Patient report cards are a terrific time-saver in the exam room. Two pages, no carbon required, write once and everything is recorded for the medical record and for the client. There are multiple report card options out there, so find one that fits your style or create your own by composite. Include body "maps" for showing vaccine injections as well as marking tumors and other lesions. Record what the client is feeding the pet, your findings, and your recommendations.

Consent forms and discharge orders are additional examples of a great use for 2-page no-carbon-required forms in a busy practice. These allow you to write once and provide both the client and the practice with a copy of this important information.