How Top Veterinarian Manages His Successful Practice Using Whiteboards

20150629_100132_600pxAt the Safari Animal Care Center in Houston, Texas, internationally known veterinarian Dr. Steven Garner, with his exotic animals and furry things that bite runs his clinic a little bit differently. His 1.5 doctor clinic is the only one in Houston that treats exotic animals and is selling six times the average 1.5-doctor veterinary clinic. Garner’s practice is about building processes and he manages his grooming, boarding and veterinary services clinic using whiteboard systems.

Most medical offices have clipboards and flags to keep track of patient information, but for Garner that system did not clearly show the status of each patient. After opening a new practice in 2012, he implemented a whiteboard system to keep track of the client’s veterinary visit and grooming information.

For the veterinary visit, Dr. Garner has two systems for keeping track of the visit and the problem the animal is having. To keep track of each visit, he has placed customized health maps on each of the 5 exam room doors to indicate the reason for the animal’s visit, the six-step process of the visit and reference information for staff use. On the problem tracker whiteboard system, problems are recorded for every animal in six stages to keep track of when the client was notified of the animal’s problem and what they decided to do about it.

“[The custom printed health map] prompts the staff members because we do treat a lot of exotic animals, if they don’t remember the vaccines for a specific animal, it is printed on the board,” said Garner. “The board is like a mind map for questions they might have for in and out of the health room.”20150629_100216_1500px

The whiteboard has features such as a hexagon, showing the different stages of the visit that the assistant, the vet technician and veterinarian follow when treating an animal. When a staff member finishes a step, a magnet is moved to the next step of the process, notifying staff that the animal is ready for the next step of the visit.

“These boards allow the staff to communicate without having to find the staff member and ask what’s going in a particular room,” said Garner. “Monitoring where each client is in the process by using the board allows the staff member to leave the room and continue with another job.”

For his grooming whiteboard system he uses t-cards to keep track of grooming history, making it easier for him and the client to remember what the animal has been groomed like in the past.20150629_095742_1500px

“We are about building processes – we have a 1.5 doctor clinic and our sales are six times what the average clinic is for a 1.5 doctor veterinary center,” said Garner. “The boards and systems and other [processes we’ve implemented] – everyone says ‘you can’t do that, you can’t run five rooms with one doctor’ – but we can in a very visual way. A lot of the system is a combination of the whiteboard markers, magnets and the board itself that makes it work.”

Magnatag Visible Systems works with customers on a regular basis to implement whiteboard systems into conference rooms, medical offices, manufacturing floors and more. To find out more about these systems, please visit or call a Visible Systems Specialist at 1-800-624-4154.

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Victoria Burns

Victoria Burns is a Rochester, NY native and joined the Magnatag Visible Systems team right out of college. She is a graduate of Syracuse University’s Newhouse School of Journalism. With extensive knowledge in Magnatag Visible Systems’ history, she knows the ins and outs of scheduling, communication, productivity, information display problems. Burns has an invested interest in journalism and has been the editor of Magnatag Insight ( for two years. In her free time, she enjoys traveling and spending time with her family and friends.

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