Practice Smarter

veterinary clients

Switching gears

Practice Smarter

COVID-19 forced veterinary practices to forgo clinic walk-ins and instead move to parking lot transfers. You can make such non-traditional interactions even better for the client.

If you had told me a few months ago that I would walk into a grocery store and see bare shelves, or that I would be required to stay home and wear a mask when I go outside, I would have said you were out of your mind. Yet, that is our new reality as […]

practice owners

Don’t shortchange yourself

Practice Smarter

Practice owners, just like their staff, deserve fair compensation. Revenue is key, of course, but you can increase it by regularly adjusting your fee schedules and eliminating giveaways.

I find very disturbing something that is occurring in our profession. It’s practice owners paying their associates more than they pay themselves. Now, don’t get me wrong. I want associate veterinarians to be paid more, and I want all team members to be paid more. Everyone in the veterinary profession has long been underpaid, in […]

exam time

It’s self-exam time

Practice Smarter

All hospitals need an occasional health check. Dive into the numbers, inspect the surroundings and review your digital presence to discover what ails your practice.

Veterinarians recommend that clients bring in their pets at least once a year for a comprehensive physical exam, so maybe it’s time we practice what we preach. When was the last time you did a comprehensive review of your practice and its management? Many practices schedule retreats around the beginning of the year, bringing the […]

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. […]

bother

What really, really annoys me

Practice Smarter

C’mon, veterinarians, you can do better. You need to stop discounting, and clients need to pay for all services rendered. Oh, and two more things: Dress the part and treat your employees properly. Now get to work!

You might not believe me after reading this article, but few things bug me in life. That is especially true with regard to my personal life. I subscribe to the philosophy “Life is too short, so don’t let the little things bother you.” Some things on the business side of my life, however, do bother […]

timeout

You’re not a babysitter

Practice Smarter

Practice managers are hired to manage. Often, the best approach is to direct team members to make decisions and resolve conflicts on their own.

Recently, while consulting at a veterinary practice, I saw the manager being constantly interrupted by team members. Many times, a line of people formed at the door. One team member was requesting a day off, another was asking for authorization to dispense heartworm medication, another was upset about how a co-worker had treated her, and […]

veterinary team

Be an employer of choice

Practice Smarter

Modest improvements in benefits or pay, or both, can pay off when it comes to recruiting and retaining employees. An incentive program can help.

Has hiring employees gotten harder lately? Not just finding veterinarians, but also veterinary nurses and other team members. Naturally, low unemployment is one reason for the problem. Another is the fact that we have underpaid veterinary employees for quite some time. I don’t think any practice purposefully underpays team members. Instead, we do it because […]

doctor compensation

You owe it to yourself

Practice Smarter

Practice owners need to be fairly compensated. A four-tier formula is the answer.

As the owner of your veterinary practice, how do you determine your compensation and benefits? Unfortunately, many practice owners are what I call bottom feeders. That is, whatever amount is left in the bank account at the end of the month is how much they pay themselves. This is not how you should determine your […]

manager

Pro on ProSal

Practice Smarter

Production-based compensation, when implemented correctly, is a win-win for the veterinarian and the practice owner.

An article recently published in this journal [“A Prescription for Change,” October/November 2018] declared that it is time to do away with production-based compensation and “all its ills.” The article went on to proclaim that production-based compensation is no longer viable as a means of compensation for associate veterinarians. I could not disagree more. First […]

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