How has the veterinary industry tracked through 2021? And are vets working harder for their money?
At APL we always like to keep our data current to address the challenges in the immediate environment. On a monthly basis we have been sharing with our clients the trends in the industry over the last volatile 15 months where uncertainty has been the norm.
This has also given us some opportunities to identify new ways of measuring things which we will be discussing over the coming year with both our clients and those who regularly attend our popular web-events.
As a brief heads up as to what we are talking about:
We know that the veterinary industry has weathered the storm of COVID pretty well over the last 15 months showing significant growth. But with our regular monthly monitoring, it is starting to look like the industry is starting to drop the ball on one of the most important things – performing high value wellness services on animals.
As many of you know, historically we, and many others have reported on the uptake of key veterinary services on a ‘per full time vet equivalent’ basis. And we will continue to do so because this is a good way to see how hard you team is working and how optimally your practice is resourced. For example, if your practice performs around 550 primary consultations per full time equivalent, then that is where the average practice is and it is likely that the size of your team is adequate to deal with the current workload.
But things are changing, there is a shortage of vets and an increase in pet ownership, so the same KPI’s have to be viewed in a different way to identify not if you are staffed optimally but rather if your existing team is adequately treating the pets and animals that you service. So now we will be measuring the percentage of pets who visit your practice that receive key services such as dentistry, primary consultations and vaccinations.
You may not be surprised to know that whilst the total amount of money being spent at practices and the number of pets is increasing, early data is indicating that the percentage of pets receiving key wellness services may be dropping.
Here is an example: For the month of June, across a population of 35,000 patients examined in that month, whilst the sales increased by 6.2%, the number of primary consultations dropped by 2% – so this is certainly an area that needs attention.