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Nonveterinarian staff increase revenue and improve veterinarian productivity in mixed and companion animal veterinary practices in the United States

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  • 1 Veterinary Economics Division, AVMA, Schaumburg, IL
  • | 2 Publications Division, AVMA, Schaumburg, IL

Abstract

OBJECTIVE

To determine the contributions of veterinarians and support staff to revenue and veterinarian productivity (ie, number of patients seen/full-time–equivalent veterinarian/wk) in private mixed and companion animal practices in the US and identify staff-to-veterinarian labor ratios (SVLRs) that maximized these 2 practice outputs.

SAMPLE

409 owners of mixed and companion animal practices who participated in the 2020 AVMA Practice Owner Survey.

PROCEDURES

Data regarding owner demographics, practice characteristics, labor (defined as mean total hours worked/wk), and gross revenue in 2019 were obtained from participating practices. Multivariable ordinary least-squares regression was used to identify factors associated with revenue and productivity as well as the SVLRs at which revenue and productivity were maximized.

RESULTS

For each 10% increase in total veterinarian hours worked per week, revenue increased by a mean of approximately 9%. A 1-unit increase in total number of technician hours used to support 1 hour of veterinarian work was associated with a 20.5% increase in revenue but with no change in productivity. The same increase in total number of nonmedical staff hours was associated with a 17.0% increase in revenue and 14.4% increase in productivity. In terms of revenue, the optimal SVLRs for veterinary technicians and nonmedical staff were 9:1 and 8:1, respectively. In terms of productivity, the optimal SVLR for nonmedical staff was 10:1.

CLINICAL RELEVANCE

Findings confirmed the important role of nonveterinarian staff in revenue and veterinarian productivity in mixed animal and companion animal practices and may be useful for making evidence-based staffing decisions.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE

To determine the contributions of veterinarians and support staff to revenue and veterinarian productivity (ie, number of patients seen/full-time–equivalent veterinarian/wk) in private mixed and companion animal practices in the US and identify staff-to-veterinarian labor ratios (SVLRs) that maximized these 2 practice outputs.

SAMPLE

409 owners of mixed and companion animal practices who participated in the 2020 AVMA Practice Owner Survey.

PROCEDURES

Data regarding owner demographics, practice characteristics, labor (defined as mean total hours worked/wk), and gross revenue in 2019 were obtained from participating practices. Multivariable ordinary least-squares regression was used to identify factors associated with revenue and productivity as well as the SVLRs at which revenue and productivity were maximized.

RESULTS

For each 10% increase in total veterinarian hours worked per week, revenue increased by a mean of approximately 9%. A 1-unit increase in total number of technician hours used to support 1 hour of veterinarian work was associated with a 20.5% increase in revenue but with no change in productivity. The same increase in total number of nonmedical staff hours was associated with a 17.0% increase in revenue and 14.4% increase in productivity. In terms of revenue, the optimal SVLRs for veterinary technicians and nonmedical staff were 9:1 and 8:1, respectively. In terms of productivity, the optimal SVLR for nonmedical staff was 10:1.

CLINICAL RELEVANCE

Findings confirmed the important role of nonveterinarian staff in revenue and veterinarian productivity in mixed animal and companion animal practices and may be useful for making evidence-based staffing decisions.

Contributor Notes

Corresponding author: Dr. Ouedraogo (fouedraogo@avma.org)