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Win with Veterinary Team-Delivered Care

June 13, 2017

Patients, Clients and Teams Win with Veterinary Team-Delivered Care!

When your hospital offers veterinary team-delivered care, your patients and clients win.  PLUS your team wins. Sounds like a heck of a deal, Win/Win/Win!

Consider how a team working like a fine Swiss watch would perform: punctual, consistent and dependable. The team would deliver an effective and efficient service every time. Services delivered in this manner will benefit the patient, client and veterinary team.

In a previous Blog, Hands & Heart in Team-Delivered Veterinary Care, we identified a few ways a team could be leveraged in delivery. Now, we will identify the benefits.

Positive Outcome for the Patient

When veterinary team members embrace the idea of team-delivered veterinary care, every member is focused on a positive outcome for the patient. From the first phone call from the pet owner, to the patient walking through the door, the exam, diagnosis, treatment and discharge, the team’s utmost concern is for the patient’s health and well-being.

You may be thinking, “Well, DUH, of course, that’s what we are here for!” However, I often observe teams lacking in attention to detail, training, communication and follow through. I see teams with apparent discord, struggling in consistent messaging and communications between the “back and front.”

To create the strongest foundation in team-delivered veterinary care, focusing on the patient’s outcome, all team members must receive proper training. This begins at the time of hire with phase training coordinated by a team trainer and continuous training in the form of one-on-one feedback, in-hospital classes and meetings with case reviews.

In addition, there should be adequate cross training. The intention is not to transform a receptionist into a technician, but rather to increase the understanding and build empathy for the roles and duties of other sections.

When energy is placed into delivery of the best patient care, the team will consistently offer the same standard of care for all provided services, supporting the patient as a beloved and respected pet.

Positive Client Experience

The majority of veterinary hospitals have the same equipment, offer similar services and strive to provide quality care. The differentiation between veterinary hospitals is in the focus on the client experience. This definitely plays into team-delivered care.

Clients expect to be served by veterinary professionals that are knowledgeable, trained and trustworthy. Pet owners want a consistent experience each time. They want to feel comfortable knowing the team is courteous and timely. This consistency happens, not by default, but rather through intent when there are defined protocols and systems in place for accountability.

One way to begin working on defined protocols is to identify your top ten services. Then engage the entire team in creating messaging, treatment plans, educational handouts and training around the services routinely provided.

Team members, sharing a common goal in consistently delivering an outstanding client experience, will retain valued clientele. Clients benefit from feeling they are respected and their pets are cared for by passionate, leveraged, professional team members.

Gratifying, Satisfying Career 

You may be aware that when team members are fully leveraged there is higher job satisfaction. This is true for all (assistants, receptionists, technicians, managers, doctors). This is achieved when a team-delivered approach to veterinary care is provided.

“Effective veterinary health care teams are crucial to the successful practice of veterinary medicine and contribute greatly to everything from excellent patient and client care to practice financial stability and practitioner and staff quality of work life,” states Kathy Ruby, Ph.D. and Dr. Rick DeBowes in their article The Veterinary Health Care Team: Going from Good to Great. 

Your challenge is to embrace the fullest potential of your team by offering team-delivered veterinary care. Your patients, clients and team will reap the benefits, creating a win/win/win!

Yours in Veterinary Team Development,

Rebecca Rose, CVT