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Trends Digital Issue

April 2017

April 2017

The Trends digital archive contains digital editions of Trends magazine from November 2009 to December 2016. Issues published after December 2016 are available as PDFs.

The digital archive is available to all subscribers to Trends magazine.

Articles in this issue

Inside AAHA

AAHA board member Pam Nichols, DVM, talks about the importance of intentionality and focus in approach to life and work. One of the keys to her success has been focus and being intentional about patient care and client relationships. As she moves from seeing patients to a role where she is more involved in mentoring doctors and hospitals, she urges us to make our next step and activities intentional. Four new officers join AAHA’s Board of Directors: Mark McConnell, BVMS, MRCVS; Darren Taul, DVM; Guylaine Charette, DMV; and Dermot Jevens, MVB, DACVS. AAHA launches AAHA Advantage, its newest member benefit, an exclusive new savings program only for AAHA members. The program has an annual membership fee of $300 and is exclusive to AAHA-accredited members. Consider joining an AAHA-accredited Veterinary Management group to help your business achieve its goals. Groups meet semiannually, and the level of communication continues year-round through secure web portals, email lists, phone calls, and text messages. Additional benefits include cost savings on supplies and services.
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The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) recently honored Jeannette O’Quinn, Harold F. Dates, and Jody Sandler for their career achievements in advancing the welfare of animals through leadership, public service, education, research, and advocacy. Kansas State University’s Veterinary Health Center has conducted its first-ever surgical implant of a pacemaker in a ferret. Leaders dealing with passive-aggressive people can’t change them, but they can control their responses to such behavior: Don’t give in or get angry, be direct, speak their language, and use “response costs” when in these situations. Productivity software startup Boomerang recently evaluated more than 350,000 email threads to determine which closings deliver higher response rates. Variations of “thank you” got the best response. Pets are at risk of illness and death if exposed to the topical cancer medication Fluorouracil cream USP 5% (5-FU), according to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The FDA recommends that people who use fluorouracil take care to prevent their pets from accidentally ingesting the medication. A press release from the University of Cambridge says that children get more satisfaction from relationships with their pets than with their brothers or sisters, according to new research from the university. McKee Wallwork + Co., an advertising agency that specializes in working with stalled, stuck, and stale brands has developed a four-step process to overcome apprehension and make progress in confusing conditions: stay calm, ask questions, reflect on principles, take steps.
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Keeping It Virtually Real: Virtual Reality Has the Potential to Be a Valuable Tool in the Field of Veterinary Medicine

The veterinary profession is beginning to explore the potential of virtual reality (VR) its uses in veterinary medicine. At Texas A&M University, Jordan Tayce is working to develop novel learning experiences and find ways to leverage technology to enhance education. Augmented 3D reality and 360-degree videos of surgical procedures are the main focus of their work. At Oregon State University, Sarah Nemanic is using computer-based technologies to help students learn. Her teaching research group created a computer-assisted learning software module called DogHead in 2015 and also developed a web-based, self-paced, radiographic anatomy software application. Overall, students report that VR is very good for teaching anatomy and test scores have backed this up, with students who use VR scoring better than students who did not. Students also report reductions in the amount of time it takes to master material. The article cites another research team at Colorado State University led by Andrew West that is conceiving of virtual reality being used in three different ways: for cases that students wouldn’t otherwise see, for assessment purposes, and to bring what’s happening in the hospital into a large, lecture-based setting. Concluding the article is commentary from Robin Tripp, founder of The Veterinary Future Society and a veterinary futurist with a mission of identifying and researching new trends and innovations to help guide the future of the veterinary profession in the most ethical and efficient way possible.
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Meet the President, Mark McConnell

Profile of Mark McConnell, BVMS, MRCVS, AAHA’s new president. McConnell comes from a family of veterinarians, as he has two older brothers who are also veterinarians. He graduated from the University of Idaho and then, inspired by James Herriott, went on to earn his veterinary degree from the University of Glasgow. He found his niche in emergency medicine and went on to own his own practice in Eugene, Oregon, Emergency Veterinary Hospital, which became AAHA-accredited shortly after he bought the hospital. He is passionate about maintaining a healthy practice culture. He finds his own work-life balance in nurturing his practice and in working out. A fan of extreme sports, he plans to run a 100-mile race in the future. For AAHA’s new president, it all comes back to practice culture. Everything else flows from that. “If you have a good, healthy culture, the high-quality medicine and the high-quality service just fall into place.”
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New Reminder Program Re-engages Inactive Clients: Partners for Healthy Pets Reminder Program Is Now Available to Veterinary Practices

Practices that implemented a lapsed-client reminder system from Partners for Healthy Pets saw an average increase in response rate of 7%–8% in clients who had not been the practice in 14–18 months. The key focus in effective reminder systems is to make sure that the communication is empathetic, client centric, concerned, and emphasizes the importance of preventive care. Most reminder systems make the mistake of sending impersonal messages that focus on routine follow-ups, and not on the client history of visitation. Charts showing the success rate of pilot programs that used the software demonstrate the efficacy of using these kinds of systems. The biggest benefit is often to senior animals and improves their quality of life. Instructions on how to use the program (which is free!) are included in the article.
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The Next Level for Fear Free: Level Two Modules Dig Deeper into Implementation Ideas

The Fear Free? level two modules became available on March 31, 2017. These modules cover the following topics: considerate approach, advanced handling techniques, inpatient care hospitalization, boarding, dentistry, diagnostics, radiology, ultrasound, finance, marketing, and communication. Fear Free is about more than just reducing fear, anxiety, and stress in your animal patients. It’s also about communicating with pet owners and growing your business.
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Loving the Lasers: 9 Creative Ways to Help Your Clients Find and Love Laser Therapy

A list of nine steps to get clients in veterinary practices to ask about laser therapy and how to expand this treatment in your practice. Additional detail on each step can be found in the article. The steps are: 1) Know the science and studies behind your laser technology of choice, 2) let your enthusiasm show, 3) Speak your client’s language, 4) be prepared with more information on the science and differences in equipment in case your client requests it, 5) set expectations clearly, 6) make sure your treatment staff has a system for consistency, 7) involve your clients in treatment if possible, 8) celebrate and capture successes, and 9) use success stories to get new business.
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Think You Know Stress? You Don’t Know Jack. Or Sue, or Karen . . .

A business can no longer demand that employees leave their problems at the door when they come to work. It is a proven fact that workplace stress, anxiety, mental illnesses, and emotional stress affect more than just that employee. They also affect the rest of the team, the services provided to pets and their owners, and the financial performance of the business. Work to create a healthy and connected workplace culture. Understand the difference between good stress and bas stress, and make changes at an organizational level to support staff such as EAPs, quite spaces, and positive feedback plans.
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In the Community: 2016 American Hero Veterinarian Natalie Isaza, DVM

Naalie Isaza, a University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine faculty member, received the American Humane Association’s 2016 Hero Veterinarian award. Five finalists were named in May, and the public made the final determination through a process of online voting. In addition to working with homeless animals, Isaza is also a cofounder of St. Francis Pet Care, a free veterinary clinic for pets of low-income and homeless members of her Florida community.
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