Columns

The road to fearlessness

Fearless

Clients can turn their dog or cat into a well-adjusted travel companion with a little help from you.

Many variables play a role in the formation of anxious or fearful behavior in traveling pets, but when clients receive good information about preparation, desensitization and stress-reducing products, our patients can have a safer and more comfortable experience. It Starts at Home For both dogs and cats, the key to reducing fear, anxiety and stress […]

The future of virtual care

Innovation Station

The changing veterinary-client-patient relationship requirement will open up new opportunities for care.

The American Association of Veterinary State Boards this year released a model telehealth policy for public review and comment. The policy includes a provision allowing for the possibility of establishing a veterinary-client-patient relationship (VCPR) without the necessity of a hands-on examination. Here is the specific language: “A veterinarian using telehealth must take appropriate steps to […]

Uneasy street

VetPartners Corner

A seat-of-the-pants approach isn’t the way to run a practice. You need to construct a detailed strategic plan and then dedicate time to implementing it.

Daggers were shooting out of the eyes of the four veterinary hospital partners. You could have cut the tension with a butter knife. I was there as an impartial facilitator after the partners discovered through a professional valuation that the business representing their blood, sweat and tears was worth basically the ground it sat on […]

The state of the VCPR

Politics and Policy

The advent of telemedicine has brought a new focus to the veterinarian-client-patient relationship and its diverse definitions and interpretations.

Two terms rarely, if ever, were mentioned together in veterinary meetings or publications prior to January 2016: telemedicine and the VCPR. What changed in 2016 was the North American Veterinary Community’s launch of the Veterinary Innovation Council and the American Veterinary Medical Association’s national working group on telemedicine. Since then, the veterinarian-client-patient relationship (VCPR) has […]

When selling to an associate makes sense

Money Matters

Consolidators possess deep pockets, but practice owners might welcome a partner’s offer when the property itself, creative financing and even one’s legacy are taken into account.

Corporate consolidators get all the attention these days when the topic is practice sales. As a generation of veterinarians reaches retirement age, the number of practices available to purchase is greater than the number of private practitioners ready to buy. If consolidators can and will pay more for a hospital than an associate veterinarian can […]

Resolve to solve

Take Charge

Client relationships can fracture if you and your staff don’t address complaints properly.

I will not go so far to say that I enjoy handling client complaints, but the assignment is something I have developed a knack for over my years in management. The less time I spend in the practice, however, the more I realize this is a skill the entire support staff should possess at some […]

Fairness and equity for all

Diversity Toolbox

While we cannot always know every back story to every situation, approaching decision making from an equity framework can help mitigate disparities.

U.S. citizens who pledge allegiance to the flag finish with the phrase “and justice for all.” This month, let’s explore the concepts of justice and equity as they relate to diversity, inclusion and veterinary medicine. Merriam-Webster dictionary defines justice as “the quality of being just, impartial or fair.” We all aspire to be fair and […]

Do it differently, for a change

H.R. Huddle

Team members are more likely to embrace change initiatives when practice leaders better communicate the vision and celebrate small victories.

Although plenty of businesses talk about change and many of them devote significant time to change management, too many efforts are failing. An article in HR Magazine analyzed why this is happening and offered suggestions for making your next change-management strategies take root. The February 2018 article “Why Change Efforts Fail” cited a Prosci study […]

Water coming over the streets during hurricane

Prepare for the unexpected

Protect and Defend

Knowing how to react when an emergency or natural disaster strikes will help safeguard lives and your hospital.

Natural disasters and other perils often strike quickly and with little or no notice. Therefore, a well-planned and communicated emergency action plan is vital to protecting a veterinary practice’s employees, clients, patients and property. Any emergency action plan is only as good as the people who implement it. Proper training and appropriate, highly visible signage […]

From tolerance to inclusion

Socially Acceptable

The practice of inclusion does not preclude the practice of tolerance. In fact, inclusion is dependent on tolerance.

Admittedly, there are many diversity buzzwords with countless connotations. People sometimes are stuck on antiquated diversity language that serves only to evoke very strong and often negative feelings. For example, when hearing the term “diversity,” some individuals immediately think of concepts like affirmative action, quotas or reverse racism. While I will not use this month’s […]

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