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COVID-19

waiting room pathogens

Squeaky clean

Constructive Criticism

Eliminating pathogens in the age of COVID-19 is more important than ever at veterinary hospitals. Regardless of whether you use ultraviolet light, double doors or elbow grease, attention to detail is what matters.

Modern veterinary hospital design has long focused on pathogen control and biosecurity, but to be extra safe amid the COVID-19 pandemic, let’s review recommended strategies and features. The ideas laid out below are most applicable to clinics scheduled to be built or renovated, but a surprising number can be incorporated into existing facilities at minimal […]

social media

Don’t go dark during dark times

Socially Acceptable

Social media plays a key role during evolving situations like COVID-19. Clients will always count on you for pet care advice and as a voice of reason.

Just a few months ago, people were leading normal lives: eating at restaurants, spending time with friends and family, attending sporting events and shopping for groceries without fear of scarcity. In only a month or so, our entire world was upended as the global COVID-19 pandemic spread fiercely without consideration for country, race or ideology. […]

team members

Plan B

Fearless

In the midst of crisis, turn fear and anxiety into clinic opportunities.

Asking my team members “How are you?” was difficult in the throes of the COVID-19 pandemic. The responses typically were accompanied by sagging shoulders and expressions of frustration, sadness or uncertainty. The pandemic waged war on our physical, emotional, and mental and financial health, but we continued to drag ourselves to work to fulfill our […]

crisis

Be a guiding light

Talk the Talk

Communicating resilience, hope, compassion and empathy during a crisis builds strong bonds between a veterinary hospital and its employees and clients.

Ten days after 9/11, I watched “America: A Tribute to Heroes,” a television special featuring many celebrities. Bruce Springsteen gave a moving performance of “My City of Ruins.” The following year, he released his album “The Rising,” which was based in large part on his reflections of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. I like […]

goodwill buyer

How uncertainty affects valuations

Money Matters

Buyers of veterinary hospitals prize the stability of earnings over time and the seller’s ability to successfully deliver goodwill.

What is the impact on a practice’s valuation during a crisis like COVID-19 when hospitals change how they manage clients and patients and when the usual daily grind is anything but usual? Honestly, not much — at least not yet. The two primary influencers of business value are cash flow and risk, both of which […]

telemedicine veterinary

The future of veterinary practice

Innovation Station

Forced to pivot because of COVID-19, the profession learned more lessons about telemedicine. The pandemic exposed clinics and clients to pet-only visits and could lead to the rebranding of relief work.

It’s anything but business as usual in the veterinary profession. Over the past couple of months and likely for the next several months, practices have adapted to a world that looks very different. While each day brought surprises and challenges, there is a sense that practices have implemented protocols, adjusted hours and staffing, and begun […]

student loans

Could loan relief be coming for veterinarians?

Lobbying is underway to include DVMs in the still-pending Student Loan Forgiveness for Frontline Health Workers Act.

The Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges is raising the possibility of veterinarians being included in legislation that would wipe out some or all of their federal student loans. A bill introduced May 5 by New York Democratic Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney would forgive the eligible loan debt of health care workers “on the front line […]

veterinary care

Chapter 10: Tales from the COVID-19 front lines

“Now is the time to make lemonade out of the lemons we’ve been handed.”

This week: Curbside care is still the norm as veterinary practices think about a post-COVID world and the future of telemedicine. Read other installments in this series: Chapter 1   Chapter 2   Chapter 3   Chapter 4   Chapter 5  Chapter 6    Chapter 7   Chapter 8   Chapter 9  Chapter 11  Chapter 12  Chapter 13  Chapter 14  Chapter 15 […]

veterinary

What now?

With little warning, the COVID-19 pandemic pummeled the veterinary industry and transformed patient care, client relations and staffing. Will we ever return to the “old normal,” or is more upheaval still to come?

Over the past few months — it feels like decades — the world of veterinary practice has been totally disrupted from the medical and business perspectives. Before February, many practicing veterinarians were convinced that corporate consolidators, online merchants, millennials or some other outside influence would be the source of the profession’s greatest upheaval ever seen. […]

telemedicine

Telemedicine and you

Veterinarians can partner with a platform provider or manage the service on their own. Fear not, newbies. If you’ve ever consulted with clients by phone, you’re well on your way.

At the start of 2020, assessing a pet’s hot spot or lameness over a video chat would have seemed absurd to most practitioners. That changed in a heartbeat when COVID-19 swept the globe, sending millions into quarantine and upending everything we thought we knew about the standard of care. Overnight, veterinarians’ views on telemedicine changed […]

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