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manager

Pro on ProSal

Practice Smarter

Production-based compensation, when implemented correctly, is a win-win for the veterinarian and the practice owner.

An article recently published in this journal [“A Prescription for Change,” October/November 2018] declared that it is time to do away with production-based compensation and “all its ills.” The article went on to proclaim that production-based compensation is no longer viable as a means of compensation for associate veterinarians. I could not disagree more. First […]

employee

Help is on the way

Take Charge

From employee assistance programs to well-being seminars, the practice manager has a number of options for addressing a team member’s actual or potential personal crises.

Without a doubt, a team member struggling with a personal issue — marriage, financial, substance abuse or mental health, for example — can show a decline in productivity, attendance, energy and attitude while on the job. Personal rough patches are inevitable. But how can a practice manager support the team member, minimize any negative impacts […]

harassers

How to respond to third-party harassment

H.R. Huddle

You have a responsibility to respond quickly and firmly to situations involving outside predators. It all starts with the employee handbook.

Harassment in the workplace lowers morale, reduces productivity and otherwise upsets employees. It can take the form of unwanted flirtation, forced touching or inappropriate jokes about an employee’s religion, race or gender. It could involve an unwillingness of someone to work with, for example, a sight-impaired employee. Harassment also can occur when someone inappropriately contacts […]

hospital

Wield your influence

Getting Technical

What a veterinary nurse says and does can make the difference between a pet owner following a recommended treatment plan or rejecting it altogether.

The veterinary nurse and every other team member has an important role in client compliance. But first, what is compliance? By our definition, compliance is the extent to which pets receive the services and treatments that have been recommended by the veterinary team, from preventive care to more complex medical treatments and procedures. Adherence, on […]

technology

Bricks and clicks

Creative Disruption

Veterinary medicine will be in a world of hurt if it doesn’t embrace new and better ways of serving pets and clients.

Pet owners call your practice, make an appointment, drive to your hospital and wait in the lobby. We see them once a year if we’re lucky. By some estimates, half the pets in the U.S. won’t see a veterinarian this year. We then have maybe 20 minutes to address the presenting complaint and hopefully squeeze […]

Kintsugi

Wholeness and self-compassion

Go With the Flow

Finding peace in the present means embracing brokenness as an integral part of life.

What does it mean to be fully present, both at work and at home? How does the quality of our presence impact our happiness, our relationships, our resilience and our sense of peace? These are incredibly important questions for us to be asking. That’s because, based on our experience and what we’re continually learning about […]

employee leaving

It’s your move

Legal Lingo

Employee noncompete agreements aren’t always enforceable, especially if time and geographic limits are too broad.

Have you ever recruited the perfect job candidate only to find he had a noncompete agreement with a current or former employer? At a time when unemployment rates are low, the situation can be particularly frustrating. A common assumption is that legal liability for breaching a noncompete falls on the employee. Unfortunately, that’s not always […]

help wanted

Let’s get to work

Politics and Policy

What does the pet health care industry want to do about acute shortages of veterinarians and nurses?

The last public debate about the number of veterinarians in America took place more than four years ago in Denver at the American Veterinary Medical Association annual meeting. I won’t forget it for two reasons. I debated three people: Drs. Paul Pion, Jim Wilson and Dennis McCurnin. A one-on-three debate is always interesting. But what […]

discrimination

Practice without prejudice

Diversity Toolbox

Discrimination in the workplace takes many forms and is destructive emotionally, mentally and physically.

I read a blog post by a Hispanic veterinarian who shared her experience of navigating racial and gender discrimination in practice. I found myself nodding along at her story and pondering all the similar stories I have heard over the years from practitioners who said clients told them their animals “didn’t like [insert group of […]

veterinary care

Communicate value

Talk the Talk

Confident financial conversations are a team effort and serve to prioritize the pet.

Ten years ago, I gave a conference presentation on the still-relevant topic “Talking to Clients About Treatment Plans and Fees.” The catalyst for this article is what I’ve witnessed recently while working with several excellent practice teams: a focus on giving options to clients and saving money rather than concentrating on patient advocacy and the […]

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