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Trends Digital Issue

January 2017

January 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, speaks wholeheartedly about changes in the veterinary profession regarding compassion fatigue, increased suicide rates in recent years, the changes she is seeing, and the work still needing to be done for a new generation of veterinarians to care best for both patients and themselves. Also, a brief mention of AAHA’s new MarCom awards. AAHA won six awards: AAHA Austin 2016 Yearly Conference advertisement series (Platinum Award), AAHA 2017 Media Kit (Platinum Award), two AAHA Nashville 2017 Yearly Conference marketing pieces (Platinum Award), AAHA Accreditation Infographic poster (Gold Award), AAHA Champions video series (Honorable Mention). Inside AAHA closes with a story on AAHA-accredited Dover Air Force Base Veterinary Treatment Facility and their work with military working dogs, service members’ pets, and how AAHA accreditation has allowed them to move beyond the perception of being “just a full-service small animal hospital” to a hospital practicing the highest standards of care.
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A brief discussion of how parental leave can improve talent retention for practices and be good for business. A short note about a study showing how workers who take their allotted vacation time are more productive and use vacation to relax. Want the perfect selfie with your dog? Check out poochselfie.com. German photographer Christian Vieler has created a Facebook page for sharing photos of the exact moment dogs catch treats: facebook.com/fotosfreischnauze. A new comic book produced by the AVMA celebrates veterinarians: V-Force: Veterinarians to the Rescue!. Advice for practices about needing to manage their online reputation and how to respond to negative reviews and cyberbullying. A snippet about the new trend in canine maternity photoshoots. And the practice of microchipping dogs and cats is now extending into the equine world with microchipping horses. A recent Gallup report on millennials and work indicate that this demographic, while connected digitally, don’t feel as connected to employers and coworkers; up to half plan to leave their jobs in a year. North Carolina State University and one of its professors, Matthew Breen, PhD, a professor in its College of Veterinary Medicine, recently applied for a patent regarding a method of diagnosing bladder cancer in dogs. A new book, Being a Dog: Following the Dog into a World of Smell, explains the remarkable engineering that makes up a dog’s olfactory system and discusses the strong link between smell and animal behaviors.
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Not Just Phoning It In: How Telecommuting Can Boost Productivity

Feature article on the pros and cons of telecommuting, including interviews with practice managers and veterinarians who have used the option to great benefit. Strategies with apps and other technology platforms are discussed regarding their effective use and benefits for efficiency, productivity, and connection. An extensive infographic details many insights on telecommuting such as the ability to complete projects, what workers like best about telecommuting, and what challenges are faced. One key factor is that there is still a need for some face time, no matter how productive remotely, some physical presence is still regarded as desirable.
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10 Tips for Dental Compliance: Get a “Yes” to Dental Work Every Time

Extensive article detailing the state of dental care compliance, which currently sits at about 35% of pet owners understanding the importance of dental care. Though dental care has come a long way, many pet owners still neglect preventive care for their pets. A list of 10 tips to help practice owners get pet owners to say “yes” to pet dental care provides important and actionable information that can be used right away. Targeted messaging, increased frequency, and diverse communication channels are key. You can find lots of great content online and use this to help educate your clients, such as top 10 lists, links to handouts, and case studies. Use National Pet Dental Health Month as a springboard to educate your clients and staff. Find fun ways to convey the information and use a calendar to schedule any communication put out by your practice. Offer information about costs and payment options up front. Addressing anesthesia concerns right away is paramount, and helps clients understand the need to make an appointment rather than waiting. Finally, demonstrate the value: Simple before and after photos can help with this.
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Doing Well by Doing Good: From Critical Care to Internal Medicine, Why Fear Free is Simply Better Medicine

Fear Free? practices benefit pets’ health by eliminating the fear, anxiety, and stress that can often accompany a visit to the vet. Many pet owners delay bringing their pet in for care as the distress they exhibit often leads pet owners to dread the process. Fear Free allows pets and owners to have a less-stressful experience with check-ups and examinations, leading to better outcomes, encouraging more frequent visits so that problems can be treated sooner. Many specific conditions such as urinary problems and digestive issues are cited, to give context to the article.
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Veterinary Medical Association Membership Can Improve Wellbeing: Study Finds Positive Correlation

Membership in a veterinary medical association (VMA) is positively correlated with less mental illness and suicidal ideation, according to an article published in the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association in 2015. The article goes on to explain how social support and relationship status are also factors in mental health, as well as veterinarians’ perceptions of the availability of help and how requests for help are viewed.
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Running the Numbers at North Royalton: Chemistry Is King

Case study at North Royalton Veterinary Clinic showing the importance of personality and communication styles on team interactions and business productivity. Author Adam Hechko spent several months at his practice creating a variety of team parings and measuring the results. His findings showed that much comes down to qualitative indicators such as doctor preference, staff temperament, and other intangibles, and using these findings to create the right mix. This led to improved communication within teams and overall staff as well as clients.
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Study: Insurance Brings Pets in the Door

Pet health insurance (PHI) helps relieve the stress of financing treatment for veterinary services for pet owners who have insurance coverage. Owners who are uninsured will often opt-out, forgo treatment, or choose a less-optimum service due to financial costs. Veterinarians can encourage owners to get pet health insurance so that beloved pets can get the treatment they need. Owners reported being more likely to get PHI if veterinary practices recommended it, regardless of whether or not they had asked, particularly first-time pet owners. One important finding is that most pet owners do not buy pet health insurance for economic reasons. They are not looking to veterinarians for details about coverage or costs. What pet owners want is reassurance from their veterinarian that insurance is an important part of responsible pet ownership. So, it’s important for practices to let pet owners know that PHI is an option. The article goes on to provide suggestions about how practices can have positive conversations with clients about PHI options.
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Successful Associate Veterinarians: Tips for Increasing Your Value to the Business

Article detailing the main factors that practices need to address in order to thrive and be profitable. There are five key areas: marketing, finance, strategic plans, human resources, and operations, and the article goes on to give extensive tips for associate veterinarians to implement and execute strategies in each of these areas specific to veterinary practices. Areas such as patient care, client services, business success, and personal growth are covered, as well as strategic planning and personal performance evaluation.
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In the Community: CARE Is There!

Heartwarming piece about nonprofit organization Companion Animal Rescue Endeavor (CARE). The organization takes in and treats sick and injured homeless animals, providing surgical and medical care. Case study about one-week-old puppy Riley gives context to CARE’s work. Readers are encouraged to learn more at northwoodanimalhospital.com.
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