When your boss is the problem
Conflict with a practice owner can arise from insecurity, personality differences or unapologetic callousness. A manager who understands the root cause can help bring harmony to the clinic.
How should veterinary hospital managers neutralize a practice owner whose behavior toward staff is unpredictable or relentlessly difficult? How do you help the team to cope with such a leader? When bosses behave badly, managing up can be the remedy. Reality Check Hospital managers often feel a sense of ownership. The majority of us, however, […]
The whole picture
A cash stockpile can leave you with a false sense of security if you fail to scrutinize all the systems that keep your practice humming.
When a client presents a patient, how do you assess the animal’s health? Before touching the cat or dog, you might get a feel for its well-being based on coat quality, general body condition and demeanor. Do you stop there? Of course not. If we instead substitute a veterinary practice for the patient, the owners […]
Erecting a veterinary hospital nowadays isn’t as simple as getting a quote and signing a contract. Do you want a construction manager, and if so, should the person be an “agent” or “at risk”?
My August/September article “Assembly Required”— read it at bit.ly/ConstructiveCriticismQA — addressed how to find a builder. In this second part, I’ll talk about project delivery and today’s most popular contract arrangements. Q. What do you mean by project delivery? A. Project delivery refers to the execution of construction work. It includes pre-construction activities like obtaining […]
COVID, insurance and your practice
Protect and Defend
Questions that few people were asking a year ago are suddenly on everybody’s mind.
As the pandemic sweeps across the United States, the delivery of veterinary services has changed dramatically. Not surprisingly, veterinarians and practice managers have raised questions about insurance coverage and risk management. This is the first of a two-article series highlighting the most frequently asked questions I have received from my insurance clients. Q. Do workers’ […]
Stop, look and listen
Your social media managers spend time pushing out great content, but do they monitor reactions and complaints? You’re asking for trouble when you ignore pointed replies and simple questions.
Most veterinary practices have a strategic plan to publish Facebook and Instagram posts, email reminders and newsletters, deploy push notifications, and send text messages. Once these marketing efforts are scheduled and executed, the team members responsible can breathe a sigh of relief, right? Yes and no. Practices that stop here miss crucial opportunities to build […]
Onward and upward
Forced to adjust amid the pandemic, we proved we’re capable of radical change. We can do a lot more, from pushing for portable licensure to embracing asynchronous learning.
Our profession, an industry known for its aversion to change, has demonstrated a remarkable ability to adapt, innovate and grow over the past few months. Historically, we’ve been the poster child for a belts and suspenders industry, one that’s exceedingly cautious, but in the face of crisis, we’ve learned much that will help us to […]
Take the fear out of dermatology
You need to get the patient into the clinic, perform diagnostic tests in a nonthreatening manner, set client expectations and schedule follow-ups.
When I was in veterinary school, dermatology was one of my least favorite subjects. We didn’t have a lot of great options for an itchy dog except allergy shots and steroids. Many of my cases ended with frustrated pet owners because of the numerous medication side effects they saw at home. During my early days […]
There’s an app for that
Communicating with clients and seeing patients remotely has never been easier.
It was 2015 and a woman driving a Toyota Corolla pulled into the parking lot of Monticello Animal Hospital in Shawnee, Kansas. Practice owner Crista Wallis, DVM, watched as the woman got out of the driver’s seat, pulled three wooden planks out of the trunk, opened the rear passenger door, erected a ramp to the […]
You can help
Recognizing signs of mental distress in team members is the first step in getting them the assistance they might urgently need.
On the day your practice hired Maria as a veterinary nurse, you were thrilled. Not only did Maria have plenty of experience, but she was compassionate and caring, too. A win-win. Nowadays, though, you notice that Maria is on edge much of the time, experiencing what seem to be panic attacks. Some days her anxiety […]
Improve the client experience
Talk the Talk
Do you need to change your hospital’s systems or the people you employ? Evaluating standards, protocols and training programs will get you started.
I’ve noticed more people talking about the client experience, and not just because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Here’s what I’ve observed: Conversations between colleagues about the need for a more personalized client experience. Commentary from practice leaders about how customer service seems to have declined in recent years and how team members aren’t bending over […]