Leadership

Overcome the management blues

Forging a better work-life balance and seizing control of emotions can put you on a more even keel.

It’s the Monday after a busy week at the practice, and everyone’s nerves are a bit frayed. To lighten the atmosphere and create smiles, you stop on your way in to pick up doughnuts. Even though you are mentally exhausted from all the fires you put out the past week, you found the strength to […]

H.R. Huddle

How to conduct a practice-culture audit

Spoken and unspoken messages say a lot about a veterinary team’s assumptions, values and beliefs.

If you’ve owned, managed or worked at a particular veterinary practice for any length of time, you may be so used to the workplace culture that you can’t effectively define it, much less analyze its strengths and weaknesses. If that’s the case, it’s perfectly normal. Having said this, it makes good sense for your practice […]

VetPartners Corner

Use it or lose it

If employees don’t remember much of what they were taught, your training methods may be at fault.

How much of this article will you recall once you return to work? Chances are, you will remember reading a training article, and perhaps you will recall an important point because it related directly to your situation. The reality is that you retain about 5 percent of what you heard in a lecture or podcast, […]

Getting Technical

Craft a treatment plan game plan

Clients are more likely to accept medical recommendations if you clearly explain the services, provide a high-end, low-end fee estimate and know how to respond to financial resistance.

Preparing and presenting treatment plans is an important part of what veterinary technicians do every day. How you handle these plans will make the difference between clients accepting your recommendations or walking out the door. Clients often have a difficult time understanding recommendations, especially if the plan involves diagnostics and procedures. It’s our job to […]

Take Charge

How to launch and profit from a rewards program

Properly managed incentives can boost client loyalty, improve patient health and lift the bottom line over the long term.

Our best veterinary clients — the ones who have come to us for years — are compliant with our recommendations, inherently trust all members of our team, choose to support our small business by utilizing our ancillary services despite less expensive alternatives, and promote our hospital in the best light to all their friends and […]

How to find a good relief vet

Start early when looking for a fill-in doctor, and think about contracting with a headhunter.

Whether you’re a solo practitioner in desperate need of a vacation or a practice manager dealing with an associate veterinarian’s sudden medical leave, hiring a relief veterinarian may feel like a daunting task, particularly if it’s your first time. The first thing to know is that finding a relief veterinarian may take longer than expected. […]

VetPartners Corner

Time to revise your mission statement?

If yours doesn’t elicit an emotional feeling, try again.

Mission statements are dull, boring and useless, and so are annual performance reviews. Now that I have horrified my fellow VetPartners members, let me explain. The issue with most veterinary mission statements, which is the subject of this article, and annual performance reviews, which is not, is that they typically are done poorly. Over the […]

Take Charge

Plot a career path in practice management

Networking, education and certification can help with professional advancement.

Like the parade of preteens who shadow our doctors each summer, I too wanted to be a veterinarian at that age. Growing up in my parents’ practice, where my mother was the owning veterinarian, my father managed the business and I pitched in wherever needed, I experienced the realities of the field. And unlike many […]

Getting Technical

Learn drug security basics

Vet techs play a key role in oversight of controlled substances.

Managing controlled substances can be a daunting task that usually falls squarely on a veterinary technician’s shoulders. Issues arise when a technician does not understand the regulations or when the hospital lacks good systems for preventing the illegal acquisition, diversion and use of controlled drugs. Federal, state and local governments regulate controlled substances. The U.S. […]

H.R. Huddle

6 steps to effective worker discipline

Don’t rush to judgment, adhere to the employee handbook and be consistent in your follow-through.

When you see the term “problem employee,” what comes to mind? Perhaps someone in your practice makes negative comments about virtually every situation, whereas someone else may disappear whenever an unpleasant task needs to be done. Or maybe someone believes she has the correct answer for every situation, and she doesn’t follow procedure when it […]

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