Columns

The art of centering

Go With the Flow

Being able to see any situation from a calmer and more balanced vantage point is one rung on the ladder to achieving flow.

This column has focused on exploring flow, that state of complete clarity and awareness in which you feel most enlivened and operate from a state of relaxed ease and, even, bliss. This time, let’s look at the role of centering as a step in achieving flow. Centering is a way to calm the mind and […]

Rise to the challenge

Selling Points

Pharmaceutical sales and other retail products are not a lost cause. You can find revenue by committing to do more, looking for deals and communicating value.

Are you ready to give up? After all, clinic owners and managers frequently complain how the internet and box stores have taken over their prescription business and cut into profits. Please don’t expect me to sit on that comfortable bandwagon with you and join in the pity talk about the good ol’ days. Business is […]

Goodbye fear, hello referrals

Fearless

Educating clients about stress-free approaches and responding properly when pet owners become anxious themselves can lead to a healthier practice.

Our industry has become incredibly competitive. In Chicago, it seems that every major neighborhood has a few veterinary hospitals. Meanwhile, corporate medicine is growing, low-cost conglomerates are diving into the field, and more clients are buying from online merchants like Chewy.com and 1-800-PetMeds. Not only has all this created financial stress for independent practice owners, […]

The economics of telehealth

Innovation Station

Do you know who your clients are calling after hours? You can concede the business to someone else or you can take an active role in meeting their needs.

While the telehealth conversation has largely centered on telemedicine and whether a veterinarian can diagnose a case through digital tools, after-hours triage care — nights, weekends and holidays — is an important but often overlooked consideration for practicing veterinarians. The American Association of Veterinary State Boards recently voted on a new model act of practice […]

You make the call

Getting Technical

Timely follow-up communication underscores your practice’s commitment to client service and patient care.

The concept of client callback systems is not a new one. Veterinary practices have used them for years and have seen positive results. Most practices started with lab results and then added surgery callbacks a day or two after the procedure. Sadly, many hospitals stopped here, thinking that was enough. The common assumption is that […]

The price of harassment

Diversity Toolbox

Employers must step up and wipe out abhorrent workplace behavior in all its forms. Education and clear reporting protocols are key.

Sexual harassment has been a part of daily news for more than a year now. Mostly, but not exclusively, women are taking primarily to social media to share stories of harassment or assault happening in schools, workplaces and even on the street. The resulting #MeToo movement has toppled careers, launched legal investigations and nearly derailed […]

The devil’s in the details

Legal Lingo

Not understanding common contract terms and failing to renegotiate certain provisions when appropriate can cause unnecessary risk and liability.

Reading the fine print in a business contract is probably not your idea of a good time. You have a busy practice and negotiating contracts is clearly not why you became a veterinarian or hospital administrator. That said, every business owner or manager should have a firm understanding of which contract provisions require careful review. […]

Family first

Take Charge

Rather than look at maternity leave and parental needs as impediments to business, see the bigger picture and adopt a practice culture that communicates empathy.

While I have always respected the roles that mothers play in society, it was not until I became a mom that the breadth and depth of the job sank in. I have the tremendous fortune of working for a true servant leader, a working veterinarian-mom of three who is sympathetic and accommodating to the demands […]

What’s in a story?

Talk the Talk

Encouraging clients to talk about their pet or lifestyle will help bond them to your practice and improve compliance.

Imagine an older gentleman visits your practice for the first time with his newly adopted gray kitten, Gunny, who is due for a second set of vaccines. The veterinary team asks about the cat’s age, which vaccines were given previously and whether he was neutered. The veterinarian examines Gunny and brings up preventive care. She […]

Duty bound

Politics and Policy

National and state officials see veterinarians as part of the solution to the opioid crisis. The industry’s role in prescribing and dispensing controlled substances is likely to come under greater scrutiny.

Requirements for veterinarians who handle opioids and other controlled substances have generated a flurry of activity in legislatures and a bevy of articles in trade media. While state VMAs regularly update practitioners about what’s expected and about state pharmacy board deadlines, I can help by laying out where things stand, or are heading, and look […]

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