Last week the annual ISESSAH conference was held in Toulouse, which is a great event for the social sciences and economics of animal health ! Our economists colleagues presented their ongoing work on veterinary activity and businesses. You can download their presentation here and have a look at the summary below.
Time required by veterinarian to perform veterinary acts in routine: a regression analysis
Allocating efficiently human resources represents a challenge in veterinary practices. In this study, we used a linear regression model to estimate the time required for common activities for a general practitioner. We found that rural consultation, cattle herd monitoring, companion animal surgery and consultation required on average 45, 172, 93 and 27 minutes, respectively.
Increased size of structures and the arrival corporate companies have modified the veterinary landscape. These enabled economies of scale for drugs or pet food purchases, improving the profitability. Increasing profitability requires a better understanding of veterinarian working time needed to perform veterinary acts in routine, what is currently poorly described. Here, we determine the time required for each veterinary act in mixed practices using regression.
Material and Methods
We built a dataset of 581,526 observations, with 3 year-period (2015-2017) data extracted from accounting software of 4 French veterinary mixed practices. Each observation regroups the number of worked days (outcome variable) per veterinarian and per month and the number of acts per month the veterinarians have done, for different acts in companion animal and rural practice (consultation, surgery, herd monitoring). A multivariate regression model with random effect was then run.
Results and Discussion
The model, explaining 69% of the total variability, shows that average rural consultation, cattle herd monitoring, companion animal surgery and consultation, take on average 0.093, 0.358, 0.194, and 0.056 days worked per month, respectively. Based on 8 hours working days, it means that rural consultation, cattle herd monitoring, companion animal surgery and consultation required on average 45 (95%CI=34-48), 172 (95%CI=120-216), 93 (95%CI=72-106) and 27 minutes (95%CI=19-29), respectively.
This is the first time estimates of working time in veterinary practices. This enables setting baseline level of activity, which may be used calibrate mathematical models estimating profitability of veterinary activities, and simulate counterfactual scenarios optimizing allocation of time.