Today's Veterinary Business

APR 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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plan. They will all play a big role in its success. Address any negative vibes upfront. Encourage the staff to talk it out. Some people may resist, but they will follow if you stay strong and positive. Some practices use whiteboards to list all the positives that paperless will have on daily life. Some employ- ees may fear job losses, but explain that the switch to automation is more of a reallocation of resources and that they will enjoy more animal time once the efficiencies develop. Contract to have your infrastructure updates done. This is a great energy start- er because everyone likes new things. Clients who see the upgrades get excit- ed for you. This is the per- fect time to make sure your patient re- cords are up to date. Ask clients to fill out a new contact form, and make sure to include lines for an email address, for permission to send text messages and for information about who is allowed to bring in the animal and who is financially responsible. If you have chosen new soft- ware, now is the perfect time to roll it in the door and begin training the staff to use it. The Implementing Stage Now that you have newer, faster computers and the staff is well- trained, it's time to flip the switch. This area is always a discussion point. Do you rip off the bandage or do you tear it away slowly? Gen- erally, you know by now how the staff has reacted to the change. If you need to go slowly, the appointment book is the perfect place to start if you still have a paper one. Agree to run dual calendars for two weeks. Then after one week, take away the paper one. Yep, you read that right. The staff won't need it if they were doing what they should. Make sure that key staff members set a good example and that doctors fill in records during appointments and encourage their assistants to do so as well. Practices have found success in having two assistants in the exam room — one to capture notes and one to help the doctor with the an- imal. As the doctor verbally expresses thoughts for capture during the exam, the client hears them as well. What a great educational time for the client. Once you are paperless, start exploring ways to improve communi- cation at your prac- tice and with clients. Products such as Slack for in-house communication and Zoom for external meetings can be great additions. New software products seem to hit the market every day. Investigate them at the next conference you attend. What add-on products could you take advantage of in your practice? The Celebrating Stage Take time to revel in successfully going paperless. This will keep the staff engaged and excited about continual changes. Recognize the champions in your practice, and engage them as you look to implement other new processes and products. Stay engaged as the owner, set the example and help the staff stay positive. I assure you, once you make the leap, you will never want to wade back into the paper flood. Nancy Dewitz is a technology consultant and director of sales and marketing for the veteri- nary marketing firm Beyond Indigo Pets. Once you are paperless, start exploring ways to improve communication at your practice and with clients. Products such as Slack for in-house communication and Zoom for external meetings can be great additions.

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