Columns

How to conduct a practice-culture audit

H.R. Huddle

Spoken and unspoken messages say a lot about a veterinary team’s assumptions, values and beliefs.

If you’ve owned, managed or worked at a particular veterinary practice for any length of time, you may be so used to the workplace culture that you can’t effectively define it, much less analyze its strengths and weaknesses. If that’s the case, it’s perfectly normal. Having said this, it makes good sense for your practice […]

Use it or lose it

VetPartners Corner

If employees don’t remember much of what they were taught, your training methods may be at fault.

How much of this article will you recall once you return to work? Chances are, you will remember reading a training article, and perhaps you will recall an important point because it related directly to your situation. The reality is that you retain about 5 percent of what you heard in a lecture or podcast, […]

Get serious about EPLI coverage

Protect and Defend

Employment practices liability insurance safeguards against costly claims of discrimination and other workplace issues.

In today’s environment, protecting your practice against risk is more important than ever. While preparing for fire and professional liability are no-brainers, safeguarding against less concrete threats often takes a back seat. Consider this: Regardless of whether your veterinary practice is small or large, the chance of encountering an employment practices liability insurance (EPLI) claim […]

KPIs leave out the whys

Money Matters

Key performance indicators help monitor the success of your actions, but they don’t explain the reasons for change.

Key performance indicators, or KPIs, are individual business metrics that help veterinarians, managers and consultants evaluate the overall health of the practice, as well as the effectiveness of new programs and any progress toward goals. With the multitude of reports available from practice management information software, plus more that can be customized in hundreds of […]

The calm after the storm

Talk the Talk

Soothe angry pet owners and raise the level of service by training the team to listen carefully and respond the right way.

When faced with an angry client, veterinary team members tend to have two default responses: They either become defensive or suffer in silence. Unfortunately, neither response makes an unhappy client feel any better. While no one likes to be confronted by a livid pet owner, team members who are trained to respond with compassion will […]

Eliminate fear in pets — and in your clients

Fearless

Simple solutions start with the initial phone call and extend to the products offered at checkout.

The writer Malcolm Gladwell once said, “We don’t know where our first impressions come from or precisely what they mean, so we don’t always appreciate their fragility.” As practice owners, we know that our first opportunity to interact with and acquire a client may not occur in person or in an exam room. It may […]

Smartphones and pets and nurses … oh, my!

Politics and Policy

Human medicine has embraced telemedicine, and younger pet owners favor it, so the future may be closer than you think.

NEWS BULLETIN (Jan. 1, 2016): No conversations anywhere in veterinary circles about telemedicine. All right, maybe one or two among digital devotees, but that’s all. NEWS BULLETIN (Aug. 1, 2017): You can’t find a state, regional or national veterinary conference without telemedicine on the agenda. Listing each meeting would take this entire column. What happened […]

Craft a treatment plan game plan

Getting Technical

Clients are more likely to accept medical recommendations if you clearly explain the services, provide a high-end, low-end fee estimate and know how to respond to financial resistance.

Preparing and presenting treatment plans is an important part of what veterinary technicians do every day. How you handle these plans will make the difference between clients accepting your recommendations or walking out the door. Clients often have a difficult time understanding recommendations, especially if the plan involves diagnostics and procedures. It’s our job to […]

Implement telehealth to improve your practice

Innovation Station

Novices can utilize text messaging, website tools and video platforms to begin elevating the level of client interaction and communication.

A year ago, most of my conversations about telehealth began with a puzzled look on the veterinarian’s face and the question, “What is this telehealth everyone talks about?” Today, those conversations begin with, “I’m just getting too many emails/text messages/phone calls and not recouping any money for my time. Is there some app that can […]

What do dentists know that we don’t?

Creative Disruption

The incidence of cavities in American mouths plummeted when fluoride was added to the U.S. water supply. Rather than surrender, the dental industry adapted and thrived.

What can we learn from other medical professions, particularly those that have experienced significant disruption? Which medical practice most resembles that of veterinary medicine? Pharmacists and optometrists are largely commodities-based and greatly corporatized. Physicians are similar to veterinarians in training but are highly regulated and driven by third-party payments. But what about dentists? Dental practices […]

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