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construction manager

Team building

Constructive Criticism

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 coverage

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’ […]

social media

Stop, look and listen

Socially Acceptable

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 […]

learning

Onward and upward

Creative Disruption

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 […]

dermatology

Take the fear out of dermatology

Fearless

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 […]

telemedicine app

There’s an app for that

Innovation Station

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 […]

mental health

You can help

H.R. Huddle

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 […]

client experience

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 […]

veterinary nurses

Two out of three is bad

Creative Disruption

We have technology and wellness care down pat. So then, why are we so slow to empower veterinary nurses? They are capable of so much more. Doctors, it’s your move.

Meat Loaf the singer released his “Bat Out of Hell” signature album, the music of my youth, in 1977. (I know I’m old.) On the album was the power ballad “Two Out of Three Ain’t Bad,” a great song and a sentiment I typically share. In the case of the pandemic, however, two out of […]

loss control survey

You snooze, you lose

Protect and Defend

Not preparing for a risk-management survey could cost you the chance to lower your insurance premiums. Not permitting a visit might mean a policy cancellation.

Someone claiming to be from your insurance company calls to say he wants to schedule an on-site loss-control survey of your veterinary practice. Eight questions should immediately come to mind. 1. What is a loss-control survey? Loss control is a risk-management technique that seeks to reduce the possibility of a loss or lessen the severity […]

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