Diagnose operational problems at your veterinary hospital with these 9 questions

Though the health care provided is inarguably the most important aspect of any veterinary hospital, operations are often what distinguish a good hospital from a great hospital.

iVET360 works with numerous AAHA-accredited veterinary hospitals around the United States to improve operations and financial performance. When we begin working with a veterinary practice, we ask the hospital’s owner and/or practice manager 9 questions, which refer to the foundational components critical for a hospital’s operational success.

By answering these 9 questions thoughtfully and honestly, you can quickly gauge how effective your veterinary hospital’s current operations are. Think of these like a wellness exam—they help you establish a baseline for your veterinary hospital and allow you to see where you could be healthier.


1. On a scale from one to 10, how do you feel you are not just using, but maximizing the components of your digital marketing platform? Your digital marketing platform includes your website, SEO, social media platforms, review sites and pet owner communication app.
2. Who is your hospital’s designated marketing person, and what is their marketing background?
3. Do you prepare and use a full-year marketing plan?

Staff Development and Human Resources:

4. How do you identify and then verify operational best practices that you may want to update? This can refer to how your hospital handles front office call training, inventory management, treatment plan presentations, and pet insurance adoption and usage.
5. Do you have a consistent non-clinical training program for your team?
6. What resources do you use to ensure your hospital adheres to all current legal and regulatory requirements related to human resources to guarantee that your hospital is fully protected?


7. Do you create an annual budget and then prepare and review monthly changes to that budget?
8. Are you using critical key performance indicators (KPIs) daily, monthly, or yearly to monitor, assess and adjust your hospital’s operations?
9. Are you using similarly sized hospitals as a benchmark group to compare and contrast your hospital’s operational and financial performance?

Answering these questions can show you where your hospital needs to improve the most to make your hospital healthier. Confirming that your operational foundation is set allows you to continue your growth and your path to providing stellar veterinary care to more members of your community.


MWI Animal Health is the distributor of choice of the AAHA association.  MWI proudly serves the membership with broad product access, exclusive programs and educational support such as this article.

Justin Vandeberghe is managing director of creative services at iVET360, which he co-founded in 2013. Under his leadership, iVET360 has developed veterinary marketing initiatives that reach millions of people each year. iVET360 provides private practice, primary-care veterinary hospitals with management services, including staff development trainings, marketing campaigns and financial, operational and customer care analytics. In addition to 17 percent growth in revenue, iVET360’s clients saw a 24 percent increase in new client growth on average in 2016.

Photo credit: © iStock/skynesher

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