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Leadership

An inside job

Practice Smarter

Preventing embezzlement, or at least lowering the risk, starts with the practice owner and entails strict adherence to policies and procedures.

The latest statistics indicate that 1 in 10 veterinary hospitals loses at least $10,000 to embezzlement in a given year. Have you taken precautions so you don’t become a victim, too? Whenever I or one of my firm’s consultants assist a veterinary hospital, we perform a minor audit of the practice’s end-of-day procedures to look […]

Uh-oh, it’s OSHA

Getting Technical

Don’t be caught unprepared and out of compliance when an inspector shows up. Your employees’ health and safety are at stake.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) was established in 1970 under the U.S. Department of Labor to ensure that Americans have safe and healthy work environments. The agency’s rules and regulations apply to veterinary hospitals and all other businesses. Regardless of whether an OSHA standard exists, each workplace is responsible for ensuring that safeguards […]

Separation anxiety

Legal Lingo

Noncompete agreements protect the practice when a veterinarian leaves, but they are not always enforceable, so choosing an alternative measure could be a smart move.

Nearly every industry uses employee noncompete agreements, and veterinary practices are no exception. Whether you’re a veterinarian or an administrative professional who has been presented with a noncompete agreement as a condition of employment, or a practice owner considering how to protect your business, you need to know the types of agreements in play, the […]

Discounts? No!

Practice Smarter

Marking down prices on veterinary services is the bane of our profession, so consider an alternative approach.

I don’t understand why the veterinary profession discounts its services. To my way of thinking, a business that discounts services is basically saying that customers are being overcharged the rest of the time, so now the services are being charged appropriately. When was the last time you got a discount from your physician, dentist, surgeon […]

Learn to trust the process

Go With the Flow

Meditation can help reduce anxiety, enhance creativity and improve relationships. Getting there might require only 10 minutes a day.

For the record, all the articles published with this column are lessons in what the authors recognize they need to learn and embody. This month’s topic is certainly no exception. In recent years, meditation has expanded into the secular mainstream, even among business leaders seeking to find ways for themselves and their teams to be […]

Resolve to solve

Take Charge

Client relationships can fracture if you and your staff don’t address complaints properly.

I will not go so far to say that I enjoy handling client complaints, but the assignment is something I have developed a knack for over my years in management. The less time I spend in the practice, however, the more I realize this is a skill the entire support staff should possess at some […]

Why do team members leave you?

No one wants to work for an overbearing, ungracious boss. At the same time, a toxic co-worker can turn a great employee into an ex-employee.

Years of schooling. Years of practice. Years of hiring and firing. Yet, many hospital owners and managers haven’t learned a minute’s worth of staff management skills. Meanwhile, statistics show that 1 in 5 of your employees is actively looking for new employment behind your back. You might, consciously or not, tell yourself that it’s nothing […]

A cool reception

Clients are turned off by waiting room delays, so keep pet owners informed, sometimes before they arrive.

The ability to set and manage client expectations can turn a visit to your veterinary practice from mediocre to outstanding. Establishing those expectations early, often and in detail can prevent misunderstandings and keep small issues from compounding into a less-than-stellar time for the pet owner. Most times, the first person a pet owner sees is […]

Do it differently, for a change

H.R. Huddle

Team members are more likely to embrace change initiatives when practice leaders better communicate the vision and celebrate small victories.

Although plenty of businesses talk about change and many of them devote significant time to change management, too many efforts are failing. An article in HR Magazine analyzed why this is happening and offered suggestions for making your next change-management strategies take root. The February 2018 article “Why Change Efforts Fail” cited a Prosci study […]

The royal treatment

Getting Technical

Providing an exceptional surgery experience for patients and clients isn’t that difficult. Doing it consistently will help you stand out from the crowd.

A positive surgery outcome is important for patient care and equally important for client care. How do we achieve a positive experience for both? Through teamwide communication and consistent processes. Every employee who has contact with the client or the patient should have a clear understanding of what is involved from first touch to last. […]

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