Business

Make it your business

Money Matters

Practice ownership opportunities aren’t just for veterinarians. In some cases, managers and nurses can become proprietors, too.

Creating a successful veterinary practice takes more than a veterinarian. It takes a team to engage the pet owner, schedule appointments, provide veterinary medical and surgical care, assure a safe work environment, keep inventory stocked at appropriate levels, and find the best suppliers of everything from gauze to controlled drugs to appointment cards. When you […]

The missing link

Asking dog owners about any cats at home — forgotten felines number in the millions — promotes animal health and can help fill a practice’s appointment slots.

The animated television series “CatDog” was released in 1998 on Nickelodeon. If you never saw it, envision a species that is one-half smart, cunning cat and one-half happy-go-lucky dog. Today, the cartoon reflects many U.S. households in which both species happily co-exist while battling for the attention of their owners. However, unlike “CatDog,” who had […]

Go paperless

Electronic recordkeeping will take a practice to the next level as long as the computer hardware gets needed upgrades, data is protected and the veterinary team is trained properly.

Paperless records have long been a topic of discussion in veterinary practices. “Has everyone else made the move?” “It’s dangerous because of all the hacking.” “Do we go there?” There are a lot of excuses for not going there. First to act were the early adopters. The next group was composed of practices that saw […]

Make your hospital a household name

Some veterinarians turn to clinic-branded products to keep initial and recurring sales within the practice.

Something that used to irk David Buelna, DVM, co-owner of Circle B Veterinary Hospital in Katy, Texas, was recommending a brand-name product to pet owners and then seeing them bypass him and purchase the item online or at a superstore. He decided that something needed to be done. He found the solution with private labeling. “Now they […]

Fighting the good fight

Thwarting gray-market suppliers is a challenge for manufacturers.

The direct-channel relationship between veterinarians, drug manufacturers and distributors ensures clients that the medications prescribed for their pets are safe, effective and of the highest quality. In the internet age, however, consumer websites offer pet drugs at discounted prices, and many national stores, such as PetSmart, Walmart and Target, sell name-brand prescription pet products. How […]

Deliver the goods

Veterinary practices can fulfill client needs — and reduce inventory costs — by working with a vendor to ship drugs and food directly to the pet’s home.

Today’s veterinary clients can easily go online or stop at a human pharmacy to purchase their pets’ pharmaceuticals. From their perspective, what could be simpler than filling a personal prescription and a pet’s prescription at the same time? Unfortunately, it means in-clinic veterinary sales suffer. Some practice managers looking for ways to bring lost pharmacy […]

Shared responsibility

Protect and Defend

Data breaches involving a third-party vendor can harm a veterinary practice, too, so insist on a detailed contract.

My article “Are You Prepared for a Data Breach?” [December 2017/January 2018] outlined the importance of addressing a veterinary practice’s cyber liability. Simply outsourcing administrative and financial responsibilities such as credit card processing, data storage, and payroll and benefits administration does not eliminate your liability should a breach occur. Now let’s look at how to […]

The changing veterinary landscape

Innovation Station

Digital drivers are moving the industry forward, but not every clinic business model will survive.

The veterinary profession is undergoing a period of unprecedented change. This cliché is usually accompanied by a series of tropes like: Revenues are increasing but new-client numbers are staying flat. Veterinarians are experiencing burnout at an increasing rate. Corporate consolidation is putting more pressure on small practices. New models of low-cost care are putting upward […]

Put your heart into heartworm prevention

Constant communication and education, often through technology, can raise the client compliance rate.

How often do you walk into an exam room and ask the client whether her pet is getting its heartworm preventive and she says “yes”? Your practice management software, though, shows that Ms. Smith bought a six-pack of prevention 12 months ago and always obtains it from you. Technically, Ms. Smith might be giving Fluffy […]

A dark secret

How one veterinarian became a diverter of pet medications, and why he might do it again.

Product diverters are often regarded as traitors in the veterinary community. Practitioners who sell veterinary-channel flea treatments, painkillers and other brand-name products to pet stores and online pharmacies are seen as helping the competition. But one longtime California veterinarian isn’t the least bit apologetic about his foray into the gray market. He spoke with Today’s […]

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