Walk into the front door of the Colorado State University Veterinary Teaching Hospital and the first thing you’ll notice is the old reception desk is gone. In its place -- a construction site that not only represents a revamped entry plan, but a new way of taking care of clients and their companion animals.
“Since the inception of the Veterinary Teaching Hospital, appointments have been scheduled, cancelled, and rescheduled in a series of binders that were broken out by the various services provided at the hospital,” said Gail Gumminger, Hospital Administrator. “Our staff did a great job in delivering customer service with that antiquated system, but it was well past time for an upgrade, especially given the hospital’s growing demands. We now have transferred to an online scheduling system which immediately is introducing greater efficiency into our overall hospital operations as well as improving customer service.”
The front reception area has been redesigned so calls come into a call center and are routed from there to the appropriate person. Staff members working at the reception area focus solely on clients coming into the hospital, and the needs of their companion animals. The change is coming in increments with the call center up and running and the new reception area scheduled to open early in 2010 (a temporary reception desk in the main lobby is providing service currently). Along with the call center and new reception area, signage at the hospital will be upgraded to better direct clients.
“When our clients come into our door, we want to provide them with 100 percent of our attention so that they get the best service possible,” said Gumminger. “We’ll also have an information desk so that we can take questions that may or may not relate to hospital services. For example, we often have individuals come in looking for the main campus and we want to be able to help them as well.
Another important aspect of the changes being put in place is that veterinarians and students in the ‘back end’ of the hospital will be able to keep track of appointments without having to go to the reception area. Display centers, similar to Denver International Airport’s arrival and departure boards, have been installed throughout the hospital so that clinicians and Professional Veterinary Medical students can keep track of their schedules for the day, as well as incoming appointments, cancellations, and additional pertinent information. The new system prevents a logjam in the front reception area, as well as reduces the amount of paging from the reception desk to clinicians, and dramatically improves client (and pet) wait times.
“We have so many people at the hospital who have worked hard to make this project happen, and it’s exciting to see it come together,” said Gumminger. “In addition, the folks at CSU facilities have done a great job in limiting the impact of this project on our day-to-day operations, particularly by doing most of the work at night and providing valuable expertise to help us get the most for our renovation dollar.”
Renovation work at the Veterinary Teaching Hospital is being funded by one-time dollars from the College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, as well as funding from the Veterinary Teaching Hospital.