Practice Management

Practice modernization: Forward booking

  |   Practice Management

What is pre-booking or forward booking? It’s scheduling a patient’s next appointment (preventive exam or medical progress exam) during check-out of the current appointment. Where did this concept come from? Dentist offices have used this method of forward booking appointments successfully for many years. It is now standard practice at most dentist offices. At check-out, a receptionist may say, “Dr. Jones would like to see you back for your next dental cleaning in six months. Does Tuesday, February 5th work for you?” How...

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Three Essential Skills for Effective Communication

  |   Practice Management

Effective communication skills are critical in providing optimal outcomes for clients, patients and team interactions. Veterinary Colleges recognize the value of cultivating these skills in their graduates and many incorporate some form of communication training in their curriculum. Training resources1,2,3 for the practitioner and animal health care teams are readily available. These tools teach foundational skills necessary to effectively communicate with clients through techniques like open-ended questions, reflective listening, eliciting the client’s perspective and summarization.  When learned, the skills provide...

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Practice modernization: rewarding employees without breaking the bank

  |   Practice Management

Sure, everyone enjoys a little extra money. However, financial incentives are not always feasible. How can you make your employees feel appreciated other than financial incentives? Here are some suggestions: Appreciation days: Once a month, have an employee of the month. Encourage other staff members and clients to tell him/her why they think he or she is amazing. Positivity box: Keep a comment box ONLY for positive things. Write notes for specific instances where a team member stepped up and truly helped...

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Practice modernization: Finding work-life balance

  |   Practice Management

With the advent of emergency clinics and the end of being on-call comes the rise of text messaging and emails. Email and texts are a quick, efficient way to communicate with clients, particularly the millennials and younger. However, these forms of communication can soon make you feel like you are back on call. How often does a client text or email on a Sunday afternoon? Many clients have high expectations and, unfortunately, with numerous other clinics within a small radius,...

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Practice Modernization – Effective methods of employee retention

  |   Practice Management

A growing concern in our profession is the trend of high employee turnover, seen in associate veterinarian positions as well as veterinary technicians and support staff. There is no denying that - in even the healthiest of practices - some degree of turnover is expected, even necessary, to maintain workplace harmony and standards of care. However, there’s also concern about the costs of what might be considered a pathologic rate of employee turnover – direct and indirect costs to the...

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Practice Modernization – Onboarding New Employees

  |   Practice Management

After many hours of searching for the perfect new employee, once hired, the question arises of “what now?” The onboarding process is too often viewed as a list of items to check off and more than we would like to admit, the new employee is sent into full swing before we provide him/her the correct tools needed to perform his or her job efficiently and productively. This can lead to disappointment for both the employee and the employer, and unfortunately...

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WSVMA’s 2017-18 Power of Ten class creates practice modernization guide

  |   Practice Management

When charged with the task of developing this year’s class project, members of the Power of 10 Leadership Academy immediately began brainstorming ways to address many of the issues facing veterinary professionals today. As they attempted to narrow their focus to a single issue, they soon found that there simply was not one matter that seemed more pressing than others. Instead, they identified a network of concerns highlighting the changing face of the practice of veterinary medicine. The term ‘practice modernization’...

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VBMA’s 5th Annual Partners in Practice takes place November 10

  |   Practice Management

Washington State University’s Veterinary Business Management Association (VBMA) – ranked #1 globally – is excited to host its Fifth Annual Partners in Practice. The event will take place Saturday, November 10, 2018 at WSU in Pullman. This is an important opportunity to meet veterinary students at all points in their schooling to advertise a job or internship position, market your practice/company, learn about the newest generation of vets, and network with students and fellow veterinary professionals. Partners in Practice will be...

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National Veterinary Technician Week Oct. 14 – 20, 2018 – Show your appreciation

  |   Practice Management

As a critical member of the veterinary healthcare team, veterinary technicians are educated in the latest medical advances and skilled at working alongside veterinarians to give pets the best medical care possible. In honor of the important work they do, NAVTA has proclaimed October 14-20, 2018 to be National Veterinary Technician Week. This annual event recognizes veterinary technicians for their contributions to pet healthcare, as well as to veterinarians, assistants, practice managers and others involved in pet care. Show appreciation...

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A Successful Addition to the Team – Hiring an Associate

  |   Practice Management

Whether it is the first associate hired at your practice or an additional associate, getting the right person to fill the role on the team is essential. Panic hires or hiring out of desperation can feel inevitable at times, but this can mean sacrificing clients, a cohesive environment and overall employee morale.  By taking the time to think about what is important for the entire hospital, it is possible to hire an associate who is a great fit to the...

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