Columns

compensation

Your fair share

Money Matters

How hospital owners are paid — and how much — depends on the responsibilities they hold and the budgets and policies that are in place.

Veterinary practice owners often see their hospital as more than an investment. For many, it is a passion, a calling or a life choice. Few private buyers acquire a hospital with a primary goal of making as much money as possible. The money is important, of course, but creating a legacy is sometimes of equal […]

telehealth

Get on board or get out of the way

Innovation Station

Whether you support it or not, telehealth is here to stay.

An important moment passed us by without much fanfare. At the Connexity conference in September 2018, the American Animal Hospital Association and the American Veterinary Medical Association jointly produced a how-to guide on telehealth. “The Real-Life Rewards of Virtual Care” outlines step-by-step instructions for implementing telehealth tools, what to consider in terms of technology and […]

One step at a time

Creative Disruption

The veterinary profession must and can do better with well-being. An incremental approach would get us turned around.

I am a big believer in innovation. Breakthrough ideas are inspiring, exciting and energizing. I look for opportunities to challenge the status quo; there’s always a better way to do things. That said, I try not to underestimate the power of incrementalism — one step at a time, bit by bit. While it’s not as […]

The art of centering

Go With the Flow

Being able to see any situation from a calmer and more balanced vantage point is one rung on the ladder to achieving flow.

This column has focused on exploring flow, that state of complete clarity and awareness in which you feel most enlivened and operate from a state of relaxed ease and, even, bliss. This time, let’s look at the role of centering as a step in achieving flow. Centering is a way to calm the mind and […]

Rise to the challenge

Selling Points

Pharmaceutical sales and other retail products are not a lost cause. You can find revenue by committing to do more, looking for deals and communicating value.

Are you ready to give up? After all, clinic owners and managers frequently complain how the internet and box stores have taken over their prescription business and cut into profits. Please don’t expect me to sit on that comfortable bandwagon with you and join in the pity talk about the good ol’ days. Business is […]

Goodbye fear, hello referrals

Fearless

Educating clients about stress-free approaches and responding properly when pet owners become anxious themselves can lead to a healthier practice.

Our industry has become incredibly competitive. In Chicago, it seems that every major neighborhood has a few veterinary hospitals. Meanwhile, corporate medicine is growing, low-cost conglomerates are diving into the field, and more clients are buying from online merchants like Chewy.com and 1-800-PetMeds. Not only has all this created financial stress for independent practice owners, […]

The economics of telehealth

Innovation Station

Do you know who your clients are calling after hours? You can concede the business to someone else or you can take an active role in meeting their needs.

While the telehealth conversation has largely centered on telemedicine and whether a veterinarian can diagnose a case through digital tools, after-hours triage care — nights, weekends and holidays — is an important but often overlooked consideration for practicing veterinarians. The American Association of Veterinary State Boards recently voted on a new model act of practice […]

You make the call

Getting Technical

Timely follow-up communication underscores your practice’s commitment to client service and patient care.

The concept of client callback systems is not a new one. Veterinary practices have used them for years and have seen positive results. Most practices started with lab results and then added surgery callbacks a day or two after the procedure. Sadly, many hospitals stopped here, thinking that was enough. The common assumption is that […]

The devil’s in the details

Legal Lingo

Not understanding common contract terms and failing to renegotiate certain provisions when appropriate can cause unnecessary risk and liability.

Reading the fine print in a business contract is probably not your idea of a good time. You have a busy practice and negotiating contracts is clearly not why you became a veterinarian or hospital administrator. That said, every business owner or manager should have a firm understanding of which contract provisions require careful review. […]

The price of harassment

Diversity Toolbox

Employers must step up and wipe out abhorrent workplace behavior in all its forms. Education and clear reporting protocols are key.

Sexual harassment has been a part of daily news for more than a year now. Mostly, but not exclusively, women are taking primarily to social media to share stories of harassment or assault happening in schools, workplaces and even on the street. The resulting #MeToo movement has toppled careers, launched legal investigations and nearly derailed […]

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