Today's Veterinary Business

DEC 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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50 Today's Veterinary Business Leadership The common assumption is that a client who has a concern or needs something will call. If only this was the case. In reality, ques- tions are not answered, concerns are not addressed and, in many cases, the patient is not served. So many practices are miss- ing an opportunity to take their customer service, patient care and client compliance to the next level. There are countless reasons to flag a client for a callback. Is your team working to identify all these op- portunities? Virtually every practice management system (your soft- ware) has a callback feature that can be initiated and customized. Identifying clients who need further communication after a visit and establishing a system to ensure it happens is important. As part of the medical team, veterinary nurs- es serve a key role in the process as many callbacks are medical in nature. A comprehensive callback system might include: Lab Results Any lab test requires a call to the client as soon as results are in. Non-Routine Medical Appointments Call the day after the appointment to check on the patient. Ask questions related to the reason for the visit and any home care recommended. For example, is the pet still limping, scratching or vomiting? Is the client able to apply the hot compresses? Does the pet tolerate the e-collar? If a follow-up visit wasn't scheduled, make the appointment now. Benefits: An opportunity to ad- dress and resolve client concerns, change treatment plans or medica- tions, and book appointments. Post-Surgery, Dental and Anesthesia Call the following day. Is the pet eating, drinking and having appro- priate eliminations? Inquire about the incision, the administration of medications sent home and any recommended home care. Benefits: An opportunity to ad- dress and resolve client concerns regarding the pet's comfort, medi- cations and post-op care. Hospitalized Patients Call each morning. Give a comfort update (how the pet did overnight), a medical update (what will hap- pen today) and a financial update (the status of charges based on the treatment plan given). Call at day's end with a similar update. Benefits: An opportunity to ad- dress and resolve client concerns and keep the owner informed about treatments and fees. Post-Hospitalization Call the day after discharge. Ask similar questions as with the post-surgery call. Benefits: An opportunity to ad- dress and resolve client concerns before complications can arise. New Diagnosis Needing Ongoing Treatment Call the following day. Imagine a client has a newly diagnosed diabetic pet who now needs insulin. Imagine the client's relief when a veterinary nurse calls to ask how the injections are going. By Sandy Walsh, RVT, CVPM The concept of client callback systems is not a new one. Veterinary practices have used them for years and have seen positive results. Most practices started with lab results and then added surgery callbacks a day or two after the procedure. Sadly, many hospitals stopped here, thinking that was enough. Or what about a dog placed on a new anti-seizure medication? Is the drug working? Benefits: Problems with medica- tion administration or treatments are identified early. Bandages, Casts or Splints Call the following day to make sure the bandage is clean and dry, to assess swelling and to discuss fol- low-up care. Schedule a bandage change or any needed radiographs. Dispensed or Prescribed Medications Call the day after any medication is dispensed. Ask if the client is having issues administering the drug and whether the pet is having side effects. Benefits: An opportunity to ad- dress and resolve client concerns, change a medication or help with drug administration techniques. E-Collars Call the following day to confirm the pet is tolerating the e-collar and that it is being used as directed. Benefits: Better recovery rates and fewer post-surgical complications. Leadership GETTING TECHNICAL You make the call Timely follow-up communication underscores your practice's commitment to client service and patient care.

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