As we tentatively re-open our doors to clients, sweep the dust from our exam tables, and consider showing close friends our unmasked faces again, normalcy seems to be creeping back into our lives. Time only flows one direction, however, and we will never go back to working exactly as we did before the pandemic. I think that’s a good thing.
At the April Uncharted Conference we had some wonderful discussions about what we are planning to “hold on to” as the pandemic winds down. I’ve been thinking about that conversation, and today I wanted to share the Top 5 Things I want Veterinary Medicine to keep. Here goes:
- Better Delegation – Many of us have struggled our entire lives to let other people “take work off of our plates.” The pandemic pushed us until we had no other choice. Let’s keep this skill and grow it! Delegation is key to happier, healthier doctors, leaders, managers and practices.
- Knowledge that we can’t see all the pets – The flood of pandemic puppies and kittens may have finally hammered home the truth that people can only work beyond their capacity for so many days before the wheels fall off. Many of us were finally forced to set actual personal boundaries for ourselves and our staff. We took lunch breaks, insisted on going home, and protected our family time. This is a good thing for everyone (including the patients and clients).
- Remote Work – I know it wasn’t a majority of clinics, but many took the leap and figured out how to work with employees outside the building. Whether this was a “home day” for practice owners or managers, or a virtual CSR who helped handle the phones from 100 miles away, our profession moved into a new era of getting things done.
- Exams Beyond the Exam Room – Veterinary clinics that have long been held back by building size and a lack of examination rooms saw there may be solutions that don’t require a construction crew. It’s hard to explain how big this discovery is, and how shackled some practices have been by the belief that an empty exam room was required to serve clients.
- Curbside has upsides – Some clients really like being curbside, and some practices really like doing it. Now is the time to survey clients to determine how to make this service part of our long term strategy. Just think of how curbside can increase our practice flexibility and efficiency when we refine it to become part of our normal workflow! Everything is more attractive when it’s not required.
What do you think? Are there things you will be keeping after the pandemic has faded into memory?
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the position of the DrAndyRoark.com editorial team.