Take Charge

managers

The forgotten team member

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Outnumbered and full of responsibility, practice managers aren’t immune to the personal struggles afflicting doctors and staff. Solutions are within reach.

As veterinary practice managers, we frequently discuss supporting employee wellness and combating veterinarian compassion fatigue, but our own stress and disengagement are less commonly addressed. Let’s do it now. Why are we ignored? In part, it’s a numbers game. The ratio of doctors and technicians to managers is high, so more emphasis naturally is put […]

value

You bring value to a practice

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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 […]

strategic

What’s your game plan?

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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 […]

feline veterinary care

Improve the feline experience

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Devoting a day to cats and practicing low-stress handling techniques all the time will elevate wellness care in the mind of pet owners and improve medical care.

For the past five years, October has equated to CATober in my practice, a month where we rally around all things feline. The marketing program was a response to the industry’s call to expand our reach and enhance our approach to feline veterinary care. Nearly seven years after the release of the Bayer Veterinary Care […]

veterinary clinic

How to avoid a vaccination confrontation

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You might not be able to change the beliefs of anti-vaxxers, but you can communicate the veterinary perspective.

The notion that “Falsehood flies, and the truth comes limping after it,” penned by Jonathan Swift in 1710, is present in today’s pervasiveness of social media, fake news, fearmongering and pseudoscience. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the World Health Organization, the American Academy of Family Practitioners and other institutions have poured money, […]

practice manager

How to support your doctors

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Managers should take the lead in finding ways to pay veterinarians more and get them additional free time. Their well-being is at stake.

Practice managers and veterinarians share the goal of producing healthy patients, happy clients and team members, and a thriving business. However, their starkly different vantage points sometimes leave managers and doctors struggling to understand one another. The recently published Merck Animal Health Veterinary Wellbeing Study quantified and gave insight into why veterinarians experience lower levels […]

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Stop-gap measures

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Your appointment calendar should be teeming with patients but not so crammed that you regularly turn away or turn off clients.

As you plow through the spring and gear up for what promises to be a busy summer season, maximizing efficiency and minimizing the craziness of the appointment schedule should be at the top of your mind. This year I am determined to coach up the reception team to passionately and proactively manage the calendar to […]

employee

Help is on the way

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From employee assistance programs to well-being seminars, the practice manager has a number of options for addressing a team member’s actual or potential personal crises.

Without a doubt, a team member struggling with a personal issue — marriage, financial, substance abuse or mental health, for example — can show a decline in productivity, attendance, energy and attitude while on the job. Personal rough patches are inevitable. But how can a practice manager support the team member, minimize any negative impacts […]

Family first

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Rather than look at maternity leave and parental needs as impediments to business, see the bigger picture and adopt a practice culture that communicates empathy.

While I have always respected the roles that mothers play in society, it was not until I became a mom that the breadth and depth of the job sank in. I have the tremendous fortune of working for a true servant leader, a working veterinarian-mom of three who is sympathetic and accommodating to the demands […]

From manager to momager

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How becoming a mother changed my perspective on clients, co-workers and protocol.

In our DINK (dual income, no kids) years, my husband’s and my parenting efforts were channeled solely on our dog, Marlie, an 11-year-old, gentle, playful chocolate Labrador. We took her on vacation, to the beach, on the boat and out for drinks. We invested in training, Tempur-Pedic bedding and annual preventive dentals. After we had […]

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