Today's Veterinary Business

OCT 2018

Today’s Veterinary Business provides information and resources designed to help veterinarians and office management improve the financial performance of their practices, allowing them to increase the level of patient care and client service.

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56 Today's Veterinary Business Leadership Leadership TAKE CHARGE By Abby Suiter, MBA, CVPM After we had children, so much of that effort fell off. Our time, mon- ey and attention were reallocated to raising well-adjusted, contrib- uting members of society, and our beloved fur baby fell in priority. Many clients are experiencing similar household transitions, and it is critical for veterinary profes- sionals to recognize this. What are we doing to accommodate these young families? How can we help them successfully meet their pet's wellness and medical needs? Take time to audit your patient care and hospital practices. From a client's perspective, what systems and protocols are creating barriers to compliance? What could you do to ease the burden? As a working mom of 1- and 3-year-olds, I have these requests. Let Me Stay in the Car I am much more likely to run an errand in a timely fashion if the place of business offers the conve- nience of drive-through services, allowing me to avoid schlepping heavy, sleepy or rowdy children in and out of the car. Groceries, pharmacy, coffee, dry cleaning — I prefer convenience over cost every time. Short of building a drive- through window, consider offering curbside options for veterinary clients simply purchasing medica- tion or dropping off or picking up pets for boarding, grooming and technician appointments. Let Me Pick My Appointment Like most families, mine is perpet- ually on the go. Finding a gap in a schedule filled with work, naps, school, sports, pediatrician appoint- ments and mommy-and-me classes to do things like take our pet to the veterinarian requires serious logis- tics. Ask clients a few open-ended questions and understand their most desired time slot before you pigeonhole them into the first available opening. For me, the dif- ference in convenience between 10 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. can be like night and day. Additionally, consider pro- moting forward-booking wellness exams to help busy clients prioritize routine visits. Many moms do this for pediatrician, dentist, OB-GYN and hairdresser appointments. Let's add veterinarian to the list. Value My Time After I have master-crafted an appointment slot, finding out that what I thought would require 30 to 45 minutes of my time will actually take twice as long because the "doctor is running behind schedule" can wreak havoc on my day's plan. Of course, valid scenar- ios occur that cause appointment schedules to run behind in our hos- pitals. But when that happens, the response should be, "All hands on deck." Get creative about catching up and keeping client convenience in mind. What can the patient care team get started while the client waits for the doctor or an exam room? Would the client like to drop off the pet and run an errand while 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. 1 From manager to momager How becoming a mother changed my perspective on clients, co-workers and protocol. 2 3

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