Leadership

consultant

When to hire a consultant

Floundering clinics and even hospitals in need of small adjustments might be well-served by connecting with a professional adviser.

Running a successful veterinary practice can be difficult. Hospital owners and managers often focus on maintaining a high level of clinical care, but at the same time they have to confront potentially damaging issues such as staff turnover, declining profits and the loss of clients to competing clinics. When a problem reveals itself, the inclination […]

surgical procedure

From preop through postop

Getting Technical

Surgical outcomes are optimized when the client is engaged and educated at every step, beginning with consent and ending with discharge and at-home care.

A client’s decision to approve a treatment plan and go forward with any procedure is largely dependent on the relationship and trust level she has with the hospital team. If she is not comfortable with the care and communication, your recommendations will not be accepted. Financial resistance is often thought to be the reason that […]

value

You bring value to a practice

Take Charge

Hospital managers have a huge say in a clinic’s financial course and whether the owner achieves an ideal selling price.

One of our primary responsibilities as a practice manager is to sustainably maximize shareholder value (profit). Whether you have full access to the accounting and play a role in major financial decisions or have limited governance over categories like human resources, inventory or marketing, your actions can shape profit and ultimately the practice’s value. When […]

new hire

Bad hire or bad hiring?

H.R. Huddle

Be honest with yourself. Did you rush the job candidate through the interview? Did you miss any warning signs? Did you quiz the references? Does your onboarding and training program need an overhaul?

After you spend time and money advertising for job candidates and interviewing them — and then selecting someone you believed would be a great addition to your veterinary practice team — it can be quite disheartening when the new hire just isn’t working out. You think back through the hiring process, the resume that showed […]

agreement

Close the deal

Legal Lingo

When negotiating an employment agreement with an associate veterinarian, start with the basics — at-will or contract? — and go from there.

Managing your veterinary practice can be overwhelming, but protecting your business is of the utmost importance. That’s why having a solid employment agreement with an associate veterinarian — one delineating pay and responsibilities — is critical. For an employment agreement to be enforceable, what need to exist are a clear job offer, an acceptance of […]

strategic

What’s your game plan?

Take Charge

You can’t rely on a stroke of luck to get your practice to the next level. Strategic planning and written goals are essential.

When executed well, strategic planning sessions can be an invigorating experience where dreamers and number crunchers join forces to improve a veterinary practice. If these leadership meetings are not part of your hospital’s culture, here are ways to get started. Review the Mission, Vision and Core Values Formal leadership gatherings are a great time to […]

technicians

5 things you didn’t learn in school

Getting Technical

Your clinical skill set is important, of course, but there’s more to being a veterinary technician if you want to thrive and survive.

Veterinary technicians enroll in credentialing programs for many reasons — a love of animals, a love of science or the desire to make a difference in the lives of pets, to name just a few. Inside the classroom and in clinic rotations, there is so much to learn, from chemistry, anatomy and radiology to pharmacology, […]

communication

Fix the disconnect

H.R. Huddle

Bad communication will stunt a veterinary practice’s growth. Staff meetings and active listening can ease tensions and create a more productive workplace.

When you look back at your former teachers, you realize that some people make learning more engaging and communicate concepts better than others. They all might have the same degree of knowledge, but not everyone possesses the communication skills needed to effectively share that knowledge. In the same vein, someone can be incredibly knowledgeable in […]

time

Minimize maxing out

Go With the Flow

If you’ve reached your mental limitations, get centered, exercise self-compassion and remember to do something fun every day.

One way to bring more flow into your life, as our column has explored, is to be aware of and hopefully avoid the states of mind that are incompatible with flow. In our last column, Jeff shared his brush with burnout and his insight into how to heed the warning signs. This time, Trey will […]

manage

Who’s managing your practice?

Practice Smarter

Employees can’t run on autopilot. They need proper training, oversight and feedback. You’re not doing your job if policies aren’t enforced and necessary discipline isn’t meted out.

I was consulting at a veterinary practice when two team members began arguing and yelling at each other in the pharmacy/laboratory area. Clients sitting in exam rooms could hear them, nearby colleagues were aware of what was going on, and the practice manager could not have been more than 10 feet away in her office. […]

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