Measuring Performance At Your Veterinary Hospital-Recognizing Trends And Avoiding Potential Problems

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Written By: Travis Meredith DVM, MBA, DIP. ACT- Community Veterinary Partners; Director of Member Services

In spending time with many successful practice owners, I always find it interesting to learn how each tracks the performance of his or her veterinary hospital. Some veterinary practice owners have a very sales oriented approach to tracking current and future success while others feel that they are able to trust their gut by looking at the volume in their waiting room. One thing I realized is that there is no one metric that everyone follows to measure practice performance.

How is it possible that various successful veterinary practices I know can be so successful yet track their performance so differently? In my opinion, the answer lies in looking and listening to your practice’s performance and the frequency that the “diagnostics” are run.

I was given the opportunity to leave hospital ownership to run a business unit for a major animal health company where I was mentored by one of the biggest data nerds I’ve ever met. Each morning he made it a habit to do a 30-minute review of the previous day so he always knew what parts of the business were going well, what areas were in trouble, and where potential problems may arise. In doing this, he was able to focus his energy on potential problems before they became actual problems. In following just a few key metrics each day, he taught me how to stay ahead of potential problems that may arise.

When I returned to managing veterinary hospitals, I took the simple tricks I learned with me.  In looking at each practice type, I made sure to check for a few key metrics and just like the veterinary practice owners who run leading indicators or who reads the volume in the hospital waiting room; I followed those metrics every day.  Over time, this gave me the ability to gain a true pulse of each practice.  I was able to identified negative trends sooner, understand staffing issues more clearly, and be proactive to avoid potential problems and do things that make the practice more valuable.

Something to think about after reading this. Every morning when you arrive at your veterinary hospital you usually spend time evaluating each client and pet that is in the waiting room.  It’s important to show the same dedication to your business each day by taking 20 to 30 minutes to follow the key metrics for your practice.

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