a smarter clinic is one that works

A smarter clinic is first a facility that is a business, it is driven by functionality, not looks.  It must be effective, efficient and facilitate staff and veterinarians as they go about caring for animals and also their owners. It should be as small as practical, but not too small.

As a business it also has to work as a marketing tool. It has to attract clients and then make the client/veterinarian interaction an open, easy, positive experience.

A smarter clinic is designed around the specific veterinary equipment, treatment and procedures you will be providing.

Last a smarter clinic is a building where staff and doctors want to be. That means it is a place where it is easy for them to do their work, a place that minimizes stress. It also should provide a place where staff and doctors can get away from work.

why smarter matters

An effective, efficient, small, if possible, clinic is less expensive to build, cheaper to staff and operate. A well designed smarter clinic lets your staff and doctors do more work, more easily, and that means more profit.

Your building is setting the stage and also sending messages about the kind of care and medicine you are providing. Open and inviting vs closed and dark, you choose. It doesn’t need to be large and impressive…. unless that’s what you think your clients want.

If the rooms, the dimensions, the arrangement of the clinic aren’t correct for the specific medical procedures you are performing then you have built the wrong building, and that is a waste.

If you can build a clinic where doctors and staff want to be you can make them happier, healthier people. And that is good for everybody.

A drawing of an elephant with a circus tent on its back.

In Atlantic City, New Jersey, stands Lucy the Elephant built in 1881 by James Lafferty in the hope that she would entice visitors to come and buy property in his seaside resort. For the fun of it I decided to see if I could make Lucy a vet clinic.

So, I sketched out a plan. In her cranium is the waiting area, in her midsection—reception, an exam room and the necessary medical areas. Upstairs in the "howdah" (the seat on top), the doctor’s office and team room would command far-reaching views over the sands.

But having proven it can be done the question then becomes should it be done? Frankly, “I don’t think so” is the answer. While fun it wouldn’t be smarter!

This is the same question you should ask yourself. Not can I do a clinic in this space, but should I, would it be the best way to spend my time and effort.”

Building smarter - is still about building smaller.

A small clinic is cheaper to build, furnish, and operate. Most importantly it is a way to destress your life, even as you own and grow a practice.

A small clinic can often fit in a smaller, oddball lease space.

A small clinic built around a specific market niche can exploit the openings that adjacent larger practices have left untapped.