Top 5 Tips For Introducing A Veterinary Wellness Program At your Hospital

wellness photo

Written By: Dr. Jennifer Fletcher, Animal Hospital of Dauphin County

As veterinarians, we have two main goals: keeping pets healthy and their owners happy.  We examine animals and administer vaccines to protect them from infectious disease, but all too often we find ourselves treating dogs and cats for chronic conditions that require lifelong medications and monitoring.  The move toward preventive medicine is becoming more imperative as the cost and standard of care rises.  The cornerstone of moving your practice towards preventive medicine is a wellness program.   By creating a comprehensive plan and thorough training of our staff to embrace “wellness,” we now have a foothold in moving our practice towards preventive medicine.  We implemented our program two years ago at the Animal Hospital of Dauphin County and have seen many benefits of transforming the way we approach wellness in our patients.

Establishing a comprehensive plan

The first step in establishing our wellness program was determining the components of the program.  Every practice may take a different approach but we elected to streamline the wellness exam, provide stage-specific blood panels at a discounted price, administer lifestyle specific vaccines, discuss current diet and recommend year-round flea/tick and heartworm prevention.  We tried to keep it as simple as possible for our clients so they would not feel overwhelmed or confused by the choices that we offer.  With time being a limiting factor in the exam room, becoming efficient with recommendations and discussion of wellness was one of our greatest challenges.

For the wellness exam, we utilized our electronic medical record to start our recommendations before the client even enters the hospital.   Our veterinarians will research the medical record of each wellness patient on the schedule that day and pre-load the patient list with the vaccines, blood testing and preventive products they recommend based on the patient’s lifestyle and medical history.  We also created Feline Wellness and Canine Wellness exam templates.  These templates include questions our technicians ask our clients in the exam room.  These questions cover current problems or concerns, diet (what brand of food and how much they are feeding), flea/tick/heartworm prevention if they currently use it, at home dental care, lifestyle of the pet (boarding, grooming, etc. for dogs and indoor only, indoor/outdoor, outdoor only for cats), and infectious disease testing (heartworm, tick-borne, FIV/FeLV).  Through training and discussions at staff meetings, the technicians transformed these questions into a dialogue with clients rather than peppering them with questions.  Finally the technician opens the computer invoice and discusses wellness bloodwork and other recommendations the veterinarian has made.

For wellness bloodwork, we created a set of blood panels that include a CBC, chemistry, and a fecal float but may also include thyroid testing and a urinalysis based on the age of the patient.  We are able to offer these panels at a discounted price to our clients through an agreement with our external laboratory.  We propose annual wellness bloodwork for all patients and infectious disease testing yearly in dogs and based on lifestyle of the cat.

Changing your message — vaccines to wellness

The next aspect we changed about the way we practiced was our message to our clients.   We no longer ask owners to set up their “vaccine appointments,” but instead, to have them schedule their “wellness exams.”   The word wellness definitely alerted a change in our clients.  The most commonly asked question was, “What do you mean by wellness?”  Through interactive staff meetings based on communication techniques, we trained our staff to use this opportunity to explain that we want to not only administer vaccines but also ensure their pets’ overall health status by discussing weight, diet, parasite preventives and any other concerns the client may have.  About one year after instituting our program, our clients now call to set up their wellness exams.  By changing one word, we also changed how our clients saw the value of their annual or semi-annual appointment.

Staff participation

First and foremost, everyone on the staff must be on board with the program and believe in the value of wellness and preventive care.  The best way for staff to feel a part of the program is to be participants themselves.   We encouraged our staff members to have wellness bloodwork performed on their own cats and dogs.   We embraced the “practice what you preach” mentality.

We also used the opportunity of our staff pets’ bloodwork to educate receptionists and technicians about what the values mean.  The more your staff knows about their own pets’ health, the more they can convey this to the client.  Our clients especially take what we do for our own pets into consideration when making decisions for their animals.  There is no stronger recommendation than one you would make for your own dog or cat.

Introducing the wellness program to the clients

For the most part, our hospital had always been recommending preventives and lifestyle-based vaccinations.  With the introduction of the wellness program, we made it more visible to the client with visual aids and a consistent message.  Our emphasis on wellness to our client starts with the receptionists scheduling and confirming the appointment; it is then reiterated in the exam room by the technicians and doctors and is again, reinforced by the receptionists and technicians with follow up calls. By doing this, the client feels the entire practice is on board with recommendations and is more likely to participate.

When our receptionists schedule and call to confirm the appointment, they remind the owner to bring a fecal sample (as all of our wellness bloodwork panels include a fecal float).  In the exam room, we have posters explaining wellness bloodwork and show what each panel includes, the cost of the panel and the discounted savings to the client.  It’s a great visual tool and shows the client the value they are receiving.  Finally we use our EMR system to our advantage to create callback reminders for vaccines (if starting a series and needing boosters) and dental recommendations.  The receptionists call owners reminding to set up their technician appointment for the booster vaccine or to ask them if they would like to set up the dental cleaning procedure that the doctor recommended at their exam.  The follow up calls have increased client compliance and show our clients are commitment to wellness in their pets.

Especially in the first year of our wellness program, our clients felt slightly overwhelmed or unprepared for the cost of the wellness bloodwork.  Because of this, we allow clients to set up appointments with our technicians within 3 months of the wellness exam to take advantage of the blodowork prices and to have infectious disease testing performed without another exam by a doctor.  Many clients enjoy this option as it allows to discuss it with family members at home or to spread out cost over two visits.

Showing clients the value — sharing stories of success

Our hospital has certainly seen the value of the wellness program along with our clients.  Not only have we established “baseline” bloodwork values for patients who appear healthy, we have also detected early or subclinical disease in a number of patients.  We have diagnosed early stage chronic renal failure where a diet change is the only treatment needed, instead of discovering it when the patient is severely azotemic and clinically ill.  Additionally, we have revealed hyperthyroidism and diabetes mellitus before patients have developed hypertension, heart murmurs, weight loss and ketosis.  By far one of the most rewarding examples of the success of wellness bloodwork was a case in which we diagnosed thyroid cancer in a dog whose only clinical sign was a three pound weight loss.  We relay these stories of success with all of our clients in the exam room.  We emphasize how animals can “hide” disease and that early detection is the key in the management of most chronic conditions.  By detecting disease early, we can increase a patient’s quality of life for longer and most likely for a lower cost to the client as well.

Overall, the wellness program at our hospital has been a win-win situation.  Our patients are receiving a higher standard of care and their owners are becoming an active participant in their pet’s health.  Many hospitals already recommend and perform many components of a wellness plan, but making it visible and valuable to the client is the key.  A straight-forward comprehensive plan will help move your practice towards success with preventive medicine.

Lucky Number 7: 7 Resolutions That Will Boost Your Practice’s Success in 2017

Those New Year’s resolutions you made two weeks ago…how are they going?

Seth Jurman (Practice Manager, Sycamore Veterinary Hospital and Rhawnhurst/Elkins Park) put many people’s feelings into words: “The problem with resolutions [is]…they make us feel good at the time and offer hope and light at the end of the year. We truly intend to improve and better ourselves; and for a month or two we stick to our resolution then at some point we get side tracked and lose our drive and focus.”

If you feel this way, you’re not alone. Lots of people think they’ve failed if they’re not perfectly working towards their resolutions two weeks into the new year. Fewer people have the persistence (and hope) to pick themselves up and get started again.

Recommitting to your goals and resolutions is a big part of being successful in them.

When I asked for resolution ideas from Martha Snowman (Practice Manager, Chippens Hill Veterinary Hospital), she embodied the hope of this season: “You caught me at my favorite time of year… Imagined or not, it always seems like a fresh start and so much is possible.”

We reached out to CVP practice managers for their New Year’s resolutions and were inspired by the thoughtfulness they put into their vision for the next 12 months.

That’s why we put together a list of great ideas for resolutions in two categories:
1. Resolutions for Practice Managers & Veterinarians
2. Resolutions for Veterinary Practices

Resolutions for Practice Managers & Veterinarians

Put yourself in the pet owners’ shoes.

It’s easy to forget that the people whose pets you see every day enter your practice with uncertainty and possibly some fear about the news you’ll give them. Putting yourself in owners’ shoes will help you communicate with them better, which will help them better understand what you say, increasing their confidence in themselves and their confidence in you!

Ultimately, you’ll build a stronger bond with your clients by doing a few simple things:

  • Actually listening – Dr. Nina Shapiro (professor of head and neck surgery, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA) says, “We’re always rushed…and the inclination is to move things along. When patients start to talk and tell their story, we need to consciously stop, button our lip, and let them finish.”
  • Communicating at their level – After you’ve listened to them, it’s your turn. Your patients shouldn’t be talked down to, but, “It’s easy to forget that not everyone is familiar with medical vernacular, and even when they are, it may not be so in the same way,” says Dr. Joanne Intile. Explain things clearly, and let them ask questions.
  • Putting out a survey – Want to know how owners feel about your practice? Ask them! Make your questions specific to get specific results.
  • Considering their demographic – Seth Jurman (Practice Manager, Sycamore and Rhawnhurst/Elkins Park) says, “I really want to understand the generational make up of each person. What a baby boomer expects and wants from their visit may be the same as a millennial however how we present ourselves must be different to yield the same results.”

  • Take a breath before you meet a client and remind yourself that you’re having a conversation with someone just like you!

    Continue your education.

    Vets and practice managers hear a lot about continuing education as a means to improve their practices. Seth says New Year’s resolutions at Sycamore Veterinary Hospital always include obtaining more CE credits and increasing training. But don’t neglect your own improvement!

    Dr. Patty Khuly VMD sets aside one Sunday a month to catch up on papers and journals, so she can stay up-to-date on trends in animal care and client communication, etc.

    CVP’s weekly newsletter is an easy way to stay on top of what’s going on in the industry. It includes brief summaries of top news stories, so you can get updated quickly. And we link to the full pieces, for when you have time to read them. Get all your news in one place.

    Practice self-care.

    Self-care is especially important considering the rates of depression among vets. A survey found that more than one in six vets has considered suicide, and many of their peers are unaware that others sometimes feel hopeless, despite often feeling sad themselves. Arwen Wainscott (Practice Manager, Allen Road Veterinary Clinic, Shippensburg Animal Hospital, Mt. Rock Animal Hospital) hopes to schedule a specialist to talk to staff about compassion fatigue, so they can recognize it in themselves and others and “…be able to help when someone seems like they might be getting rundown.”

    What can you do?

  • Meditate. – Taking 10 minutes a day to meditate can do wonders for your mental health. With practice, it can bring a sense of peace that makes tough situations feel easier and can teach you to approach every day and task with calm and focus.
  • Don’t forget your hobbies. – You work hard. But there are some things you just love to do for fun (or relaxation). Don’t neglect them! Taking your vacation time is something else you can do for you. Arwen (Practice Manager, Allen Road, Shippensburg, Mt. Rock) wants to spread her vacation time out in 2017: “…so I can hit the ground running and come back refreshed.”
  • Schedule your sleep. – A ‘good night’s sleep’ isn’t just a phrase: Sleep is good for you! Keep your brain and heart healthy and your mood bright by scheduling your sleep. It may be the only way you actually get it.

  • Resolutions for Your Practice

    Get active on social media.

    Scheduling regular updates on social media can build a strong connection between your practice and your clients, potential clients, and your community at large.

    If you’re just starting out and have someone on your team who is interested in posting regular (key word!) updates, let them try their hand! Or hire someone for social media management.

    Where could you post?

  • Facebook – Can be somewhat long-form but should still be quick; including videos & pictures is popular
  • Twitter – 140-character updates
  • Instagram – Image-based; great for showing pictures of patients or your team at work

  • What could you post?

  • Updates on open/close times
  • Details about your team’s community service
  • Pictures of patients and team members
  • Surveys

  • Improve telephone etiquette.

    Recent data analysis revealed the day of the week when practices miss the most calls: Monday. More specifically, Monday from 9 to 10 AM. Are you well staffed during this period? How about during August, which data shows as the busiest month of the year?

    Learn more about the findings from Moneypenny, and consider doing research of your own about your busy times, so you can improve your service.

    Make your waiting room more comfortable.

    You may not give it much thought, but it’s where many of your clients spend most of their time, so make your waiting room as comfortable as it can be.

    Here are a few great ideas from dvm360!

  • Create a kids’ area—complete with little lab coats!
  • Add an aquarium – It’s engaging, especially for children, and calming.

  • Work together—more!

    Martha (Practice Manager, Chippens Hill Veterinary Hospital) knows about the benefits of working together: “We have a leadership committee that consists of 1 person from each department. The group meets every 3-4 weeks to discuss improvements and problem solve in each other’s group. It’s a great way to successfully approach improvement without being adversarial. Results have been great!”

    2017 is just another opportunity to do better! We’d love to hear what you have planned for yourself and your practice this year. Comment here, or tweet us @cvpco!

    Should Your Animal Hospital Offer House Calls and In-Home Veterinary Services?

    House Calls Dr Plotnick Manhattan Cat Specialists

    Written By: Brad Reiss, Practice Manager, Manhattan Cat Specialists

    Many veterinary hospitals do not offer house-calls or in-home veterinary services and wonder whether or not it is the right choice for their practice. Manhattan Cat Specialists, a CVP Partner Hospital, offers house calls. Owner, Arnold Plotnick, MS, DVM, ACVIM, a veterinarian & feline expert for over 30 years, believes there a number of reasons for offering house calls:

    • Some cats get so nervous on the trip to the vet that they urinate, defecate, or vomit (or all three!) in their carrier on the way to (or from) the office.
    • Some cats who are normally very well-behaved at home become very agitated and aggressive once they enter the veterinary office.
    • Some cats, with their sixth sense, know that a veterinary visit is imminent, and they hide under the bed or the couch, making their capture and transport to the office an ordeal for the client.
    • Many of clients have multiple cats, and bringing two, or three, or five (or seven…) cats to the office becomes a logistical nightmare.
    • As our feline population ages, clients are aging right along with them, and some elderly clients find it increasingly difficult to bring their cat to the office.
    • Many owners would like their terminally ill cats to be euthanized in their own home when the time comes.

    For these reasons, Manhattan Cat Specialists decided to provide house calls and in-home veterinary services in order to meet the needs of their clients.

    When a client makes an appointment for a house call, Dr. Plotnick and a veterinary technician visit the home with the necessary equipment and medical supplies in order to duplicate the type of visit the cat would receive at the hospital.  This includes a complete physical examination, blood and urine collection for lab analysis if necessary, vaccinations, microchipping, feline leukemia and FIV testing, blood typing, subcutaneous fluid administration, ear cleaning, claw trimming, blood pressure measurement, application of Soft Paws, and many other procedures.

    And of course, when the time is appropriate, euthanasia can be performed in a gentle, compassionate manner at home. Manhattan Cats will also take care of the cremation arrangements.

    It’s important to let clients know which home procedures cannot be performed in the home, for example, x-rays and surgery.  After the examination, if it is determined that a cat needs these or other advanced diagnostic procedures, or needs to be admitted to the hospital, transportation for the cat to the hospital will be arranged. Life threatening emergencies cannot wait, and should not be scheduled for house calls.  Cats who are having difficulty breathing, are having seizures, are unconscious, or are bleeding uncontrollably should be brought to the practice immediately, or to an emergency hospital if it is after hours.

    To know whether offering house calls is right for your veterinary hospital, it’s a good idea to survey clients. Those with multiple or difficult pets may be the top clients to take advantage of this service. Especially if no other animal hospitals are doing house calls in the area, you may increase your client base as well as current pet visits.

    To learn more about Manhattan Cat Specialists visit their website HERE.

    10 Tips For Creating A Happy Workplace At Your Animal Hospital: Part 2

    workplace zen

    By Dennis McMichael, Practice Manager — Animal Hospital of Dauphin County

    Previously, I took you through my first top 5 tips for a happy workplace. Here are my remaining top factors that I consider to be the most impactful in cracking open your workplace Zen (as a team). 

    6. Set Goals (as a team): In professional sports a team’s shared goals are apparent and understood.  Moreover, the teams’ success towards those goals is blatantly, and sometimes brutally obvious (Go Phillies! Go Eagles!).  In the common workplace neither of these statements holds true; however, each member of the team plays just as much of a role in achieving the team’s shared goals.  As such the team’s involvement in understanding challenges, creating shared goals, monitoring progress, and managing their shared goals to success is paramount in fostering happiness and success.  Beyond that the involvement of fresh minds in the process will lead to new ideas and the discovery of untapped talents.

    7. Create Happy Customers (as a team): The customer is always right because if the customer is wrong, your competition is happy to make it right!   Too often a disconnect occurs in considering customers as the primary resource for achieving success toward the team’s shared goals.  By assuming the role of a customer advocate, team members align and accomplish the customer’s goals, the team’s goals, and their individual goals while creating happy customers in the process.  And the happiest teams are teams working with happy customers!

    8. Make It Personal (as a team): When was the last time you stopped a staff meeting and played a fun, interactive game? The gains realized are well worth the small amount of time sacrificed from the team’s everyday routine.  Team members connecting on a personal level greatly increases the probability of greater cohesiveness at the professional level.  Additionally, a little bit of camaraderie goes a long way in strengthening staff retention and creating more natural and enjoyable customer interactions.   At times, the most effective thing a team leader can do is create an opportunity for the team to interact freely without the constraints and distractions of the job obstructing the team’s ability to develop their relationships and identity.

    9. Recognize Contributions (as a team): Teams and their individual members contribute their talents every day; however, only the largest accomplishments are consistently celebrated with any sort of fanfare.  “Great job making that copy, Mary!” and “You really nailed sweeping that floor, Joe!” are examples of praises very rarely uttered in the workplace.  But why not?  There is absolutely nothing wrong with recognizing another team member’s contributions to the overall success of the team’s shared goals.  In fact, offering such praise will play a crucial role in creating a happy team and an environment conducive to productive communication.

    10. Love What You Do (as a team): On average we spend 45% of our waking hours at work or performing work-related functions.  That is way too much time to not derive some enjoyment from our jobs and our teams.  It is always a useful exercise for each team member to reflect on their position and identify the functions, responsibilities, and accomplishments that make them most content in their role.  Likewise, it is just as worthwhile to examine the less enjoyable tasks and look for ways to make them more enticing for the team member.  Even if the end result is the same, the exercise itself will help increase contentedness with the individual.  In the end, when we love what we do it shows.  And the effects are contagious to team members and customers alike!

    A happy workplace requires an appropriate mix of all the ingredients to get it just right.  Similarly, different teams will have different mixes for what’s right for them; however, the ingredients will all still be there.  And the best part is that once your mix is established the workplace will become a lot of fun!

    10 Tips for Creating a Happy Workplace At Your Animal Hospital: Part 1

    happy workplace

    By Dennis McMichael, Practice Manager — Animal Hospital of Dauphin County

    Throughout my youth and professional career I’ve had the pleasure of serving on and leading many teams with a variety of purposes and goals.  In each instance a number of consistent factors contributed to each team’s success, failure, and, ultimately, happiness.  And in each instance the team’s happiness could be directly attributed to our performance and application of those factors as a team.  While it would be nearly impossible to list all of the factors contributing to a happy team and workplace, the following list captures the top factors that I consider to be the most consistently impactful in cracking open your workplace Zen (as a team).

    1. Be Humble (as a team): We all have faults.  The sooner we are able to acknowledge and accept this fact, the sooner we move past reactive and guarded habits and progress towards becoming proactive producers.  Some of the best people to have on your team are the ones who ask a lot of questions and force the team to rethink what they thought they already knew.  Leaders are no exception to this trait — as a matter of fact, leaders stand to gain even more from their own humbleness by forging important relationships and better understanding the resources available to them.

    2. Communicate (as a team): Every success and failure begins and ends with productive communication or a lack thereof.  It is as simple as that, yet, we continually fall into the traps created by lack of communication or even unproductive communication.  A successful and happy team’s habitual response to unexpected adversity is productive communication.  This often takes the form of a 5 minute “huddle” to discuss the issue at hand, identify resources and possible solutions, and plot the path to success.  As humans contentedness is equivalent to happiness.  Internalized stress is commonly one of the largest barriers to contentedness.  The habitual response of productive communication and group problem solving eliminates this barrier before it even has a chance to take shape.

    3. Create a Culture of Solutions (as a team): How much of your team’s time is lost to idle complaints?  Beyond time, what is the impact of idle complaining on individual and team morale?  Many people complain simply because it requires less effort than solving the problem in the first place; however, this is where the power of the team really comes to life.  If the team publicly recognizes their distaste for idle complaining, the team can successfully outlaw the behavior from the workplace and replace it with an expectation of productive communication.  Much like Planet Fitness’ “Lunk Alarm” combats “gymtimidation”, a staff unified towards productive communication is empowered to recognize and refuse idle complaining in a more comfortable manner that encourages productive solutions and a happy workplace.

    4. Celebrate Your Successes (as a team): The ever-increasing demand for efficiency is at odds with the need for workplace happiness.  How many times have you thought “That was really a great accomplishment and it needs to be recognized when time allows.”?  Did you do it?  Did you do it publicly?  Celebrating successes boosts morale while providing a positive reinforcement of the team’s shared goals.  Additionally, creating a ‘shout out’-friendly environment can do wonders in promoting individual and team senses of self-worth.  These gestures are a catalyst for kindness.  No, the team doesn’t need to spend the entire day patting each other on the back.  Staff meetings, internal newsletters, group emails, suggestion boxes, bulletin boards, etc. can all serve as appropriate forums to share the love!

    5. Own Your Mistakes (as a team): So you made a mistake — now what?  Human nature and tradition seem to tell us to shy away and let someone else fix it but where’s the growth in that?  Recognize the opportunity and turn the situation on its head.  The team and/or team member stand to gain valuable knowledge and insight by assessing the situation and envisioning a reasonable solution.  Furthermore, what could have been a confidence-draining experience can — if handled properly — become a confidence-building morale booster.  Finally, is there a lesson learned that can be used to benefit team members not specifically involved with this opportunity?  Make sure that teachable moment is appropriately shared and utilized!

    Check back for Part 2 and my remaining 5 tips for a happy workplace!

    Measuring Performance At Your Veterinary Hospital-Recognizing Trends And Avoiding Potential Problems


    Written By: Travis Meredith DVM, MBA, DIP. ACT- Community Veterinary Partners; Director of Member Services

    In spending time with many successful practice owners, I always find it interesting to learn how each tracks the performance of his or her veterinary hospital. Some veterinary practice owners have a very sales oriented approach to tracking current and future success while others feel that they are able to trust their gut by looking at the volume in their waiting room. One thing I realized is that there is no one metric that everyone follows to measure practice performance.

    How is it possible that various successful veterinary practices I know can be so successful yet track their performance so differently? In my opinion, the answer lies in looking and listening to your practice’s performance and the frequency that the “diagnostics” are run.

    I was given the opportunity to leave hospital ownership to run a business unit for a major animal health company where I was mentored by one of the biggest data nerds I’ve ever met. Each morning he made it a habit to do a 30-minute review of the previous day so he always knew what parts of the business were going well, what areas were in trouble, and where potential problems may arise. In doing this, he was able to focus his energy on potential problems before they became actual problems. In following just a few key metrics each day, he taught me how to stay ahead of potential problems that may arise.

    When I returned to managing veterinary hospitals, I took the simple tricks I learned with me.  In looking at each practice type, I made sure to check for a few key metrics and just like the veterinary practice owners who run leading indicators or who reads the volume in the hospital waiting room; I followed those metrics every day.  Over time, this gave me the ability to gain a true pulse of each practice.  I was able to identified negative trends sooner, understand staffing issues more clearly, and be proactive to avoid potential problems and do things that make the practice more valuable.

    Something to think about after reading this. Every morning when you arrive at your veterinary hospital you usually spend time evaluating each client and pet that is in the waiting room.  It’s important to show the same dedication to your business each day by taking 20 to 30 minutes to follow the key metrics for your practice.

    Managing Your Veterinary Practice Like You Manage Patient Care


    Written By: Travis Meredith DVM, MBA, DIP. ACT- Community Veterinary Partners; Director of Member Services

    Quite often as veterinarians, you will encounter a case where a pet’s health has been rapidly declining and their owner is growing anxious for you to solve the problem. Managing cases like this can be tough as you want to take immediate action and get the pet back to good health. As you think about managing a case like this, what do you normally do?  Take the animal straight to surgery?  Start him on medication?  Tell the family that it may be time to think about letting go?

    Of course not.  As clinicians we are trained to use a systematic approach when we treat our patients. We have to take the time to examine the pet and make sure we are really listening to their owner.  We perform diagnostics and may even consult with outside experts on more complex cases. We come up with a plan, initiate a therapy and encourage the owners to follow our plan to give their pet the best chance at recovery.  And, as their healthcare provider, we make sure to follow up with the clients as many times as needed until the problem is resolved.

    Managing a small business is no different in that a systematic approach is the best course of action. When I visit with colleagues about the topic of practice management I always use the same patient analogy.  For many veterinary practice owners, they continue to see their business declining and have not been able to pinpoint a specific cause.  Often we just blame it on the “economy.”  And while most veterinarians use a systematic approach to patient care, they do not always do the same to when finding a solution to bettering their practice’s financial health.

    The same systematic approach used in patient care also should be used when successfully operating a veterinary practice.  1. Look and listen to what’s going on around you 2. Do the diagnostics 3. Get help from experts if needed 4.  Come up with a plan 5. Put the plan into action and 6. Monitor, Monitor, Monitor.  Over the next few months I’ll discuss at each of these components and hopefully better illustrate how the principles that ensure good patient care can mean financial wellness for your veterinary practice.

    Our First Investment

    A few weeks ago, we made our first investment in the veterinary world, buying a majority ownership stake in the Animal Hospital of Dauphin County. We’re very excited about this news. Continue reading…