Veterinary hack attack!

Veterinary hack attack!

Cut through the excuses. Here’s help to slice through your most dreaded challenges and use ninja-like moves to make mincemeat of any obstacles blocking your way.
Aug 05, 2016
By staff

Getty ImagesWe get it. You’ve got too much to do, too few resources and you’re already crunched for time. Just take 10 minutes to scan through these quick tools that give real, practical and easy steps to hack your veterinary life.
Where’d we get all these great ideas?

Three places:

> We asked you! Read more reader-submitted tips here

> We asked the experts at CVC. Watch the complete lineup of hack videos at Then visit to learn more about CVC and register so you can collect your own list of hacks from the all-star lineup of speakers.

> We curated top tips from Honestly, we’ve been all over this “hack” idea for years (you might know them as Pearls of Practice or Idea Exchange). Find a lineup of more great ideas at

Hack your career

Denise Tumblin, CPA, offers these killer career moves to pounce on your next opportunity in practice: 

1. Volunteer to take charge of social media for your practice. Show the practice owner you have a plan, including the number of times you’re going to post a week and the mix of content you’re going to post. 

2. Tackle client compliance. There are still huge opportunities for this in practice. Spend some time looking at your practice’s weaknesses and identify areas of opportunity, then create a plan for how to boost the “yes” factor. 

3. Be the procedures and protocols champion. Look for opportunities to be lean and eliminate waste. As a team member you see areas where you could improve procedures or protocols that the doctor doesn’t see or doesn’t have time to address. Find those areas and be a champion.

Bonus career hacks

1. Work hard (translation: sometimes you work the hours you don’t want to work). For all practical purposes, veterinary medicine is a retail business, says Karen Felsted, CPA, MS, DVM, CVPM, and clients don’t necessarily want—or have the capability—to see us between the hours of 9 and 5, which might be the hours we want to work. (Resisting this a bit? Click here for more on work hours.)

2. Pay attention to others’ goals as well as your own. If you can succeed at your goals while helping your boss reach her goals, you’ll probably receive more support and you’ll accomplish more together. 

Wondering if you can make a living wage in veterinary medicine? Dr. Felsted offers one take here:

Boost diabetes compliance with cat owners

Veterinary technicians are well-versed in feline diabetes management. After diagnosis, you can train clients to do as much as they can at home to keep cats in their home environment. 

1. Teach pet owners to monitor a cat’s glucose concentration at home and email the results to you, which provides more accurate numbers as well.

2. When a fructosamine concentration is necessary, schedule a quick tech blood draw. 

3. Charge for phone consults when regulating, which is more cost-effective for clients and more efficient for you. 

Ultimately you will have long-term income from these patients and it makes managing these cats feasible for more cat owners.






Physical exam hack

Look sharp, exam room technicians! Ernie Ward, DVM, says you can help doctors hack their medical records by filling out exam reports during the appointment. This way the doctor performs the physical exam, verbally reviewing with you the physical exam while he or she is doing it. Then the doctor sits across from the client and reviews the findings, maintaining good eye contact with the client while you write everything in the medical record. Then your doctor can quickly review your notes after the exam and make any additional comments. The time savings? Well, let’s just say your doc just might make it home in time for dinner tonight. And you’ve just added another reason you deserve a raise. 

Hacks to improve efficiency 

Use an over-the-door shoe holder to store medications that are waiting to be picked up by clients. Label each pocket with A through Z (XYZ for one pocket), and hang it on the door next to the pharmacy. 

Use the cardboard from paper towel rolls to organize urinary catheters by size. Then you can easily access the size you need right away.

For an easy way to dispense commonly used medications, prefill 10 or so labeled vials. Take a piece of PVC pipe just wider than the vials and screw it to a wall or the side of a cabinet. Then drop in the vials to create a Pez-like dispenser.

For an easy way to dispense commonly used medications, prefill 10 or so labeled vials. Take a piece of PVC pipe just wider than the vials and screw it to a wall or the side of a cabinet. Then drop in the vials to create a Pez-like dispenser.