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Leadership

practice owner

When your boss is the problem

Take Charge

Conflict with a practice owner can arise from insecurity, personality differences or unapologetic callousness. A manager who understands the root cause can help bring harmony to the clinic.

How should veterinary hospital managers neutralize a practice owner whose behavior toward staff is unpredictable or relentlessly difficult? How do you help the team to cope with such a leader? When bosses behave badly, managing up can be the remedy. Reality Check Hospital managers often feel a sense of ownership. The majority of us, however, […]

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 […]

flow

Flow in uncertain times

Go With the Flow

Rather than being overwhelmed by a unique and daunting situation, practices and their owners seemed to tap into their inner reserves and resources and then meet the challenges with agility.

The last few months have been unique in their level of disruption of behavior patterns, norms and lives across the globe. It’s easy to occasionally become overwhelmed by both the magnitude and rapidity of the events that unfolded and continue to unfold. So, discussing “flow” in the context of recent national and global events might […]

delegate

I dare you to delegate

Give yourself a well-deserved and well-justified break by assigning some of your tasks to people qualified to take them on. Everyone from your patients to your staff will benefit, and so will your clinic.

Twenty years ago, the KPMG megastudy on veterinary medicine noted: “The majority of animal care is still being delivered through a highly fragmented and inefficient system. This includes issues related to excess capacity, staff utilization and the use of capital resources.” The report went on to say, “There is some evidence that practices that utilize […]

trust

Trust your team to be great

Autonomy, a sense of purpose and well-timed feedback can elevate your employees to the next level of performance.

I’ve been lucky recently to have had really good conversations with practice owners and managers about workplace culture. Inevitably, we get around to discussing why people do certain things in the clinic. In particular, why do some team members seem able to take the initiative when others need more structure and guidance before they take […]

patient flow

The P.U.R.R.fect hospital patient flow

You can improve outcomes by utilizing lean process techniques to optimize the way a patient moves through your hospital.

Moving a patient through a veterinary hospital is a complex activity involving many opportunities to make minor improvements that would result in better outcomes for the hospital, patient and client. Lean processes are those that have been analyzed and refined to maximize efficiencies, experiences, accuracy and financial outcomes. Utilizing studies of lean process techniques, I […]

bonding rate

Diminishing returns

Practice Smarter

A client bonding rate of 60% is nothing to celebrate. Use surveys, mystery shoppers, reminders and other tactics to get pet owners to come back to your clinic time after time.

When I present seminars, I talk about all the financial information that can be gleaned from practice management software, but do you know which benchmark I consider most important? Your practice’s bonding rate — the rate of return of clients within 18 months of their last visit. It’s your practice’s success rate. You might know […]

employee benefits

Prized perks

H.R. Huddle

Team members and job candidates desire more than a paycheck. Benefits such as flexible schedules, paid CE and mentoring can produce happier employees.

Team members and job candidates desire more than a paycheck. Benefits such as flexible schedules, paid CE and mentoring can produce happier employees. Veterinary practices have found that they need to make the workplace as appealing as possible if they want to recruit and retain quality team members. In the past, clinics could simply advertise […]

sanitizing

A clean bill of health

Getting Technical

Everyone on the veterinary team, from managers to groomers, is responsible for ridding the hospital of germs and then doing it again and again. Cleaning, disinfecting and sanitizing is a never-ending job.

Virtually all businesses that are open to the public tout their enhanced cleaning protocols in light of the pandemic. We see it everywhere we go as customers. The veterinary profession is no exception. When it comes to personal safety, our clients and employees are more knowledgeable than ever. Infection control is essential and is more […]

recession

The worst and best of times

Take Charge

Practices that conserve cash, champion job security and nurture clients will be ready to capitalize on an economic resurgence. When leadership takes care of the team, the team takes care of the business.

It became official June 8: The United States began its pandemic-fueled recession in February 2020 after experiencing the longest economic expansion in the nation’s history. The announcement was a bit difficult to reconcile because many veterinary practices are experiencing abnormally busy summers. However, as unemployment safety nets dissolve and consumer confidence erodes, hospital managers need […]

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