Do you wish you or your staff did a better job of talking to clients about the cost of care and payment programs? Here are a few ideas from AAHA authors and speakers who have led their teams and others to practice success.
Behavior is an important aspect of pet ownership and bad behavior can lead to people surrendering their pets to shelters. Tackling behavior is a big issue, particularly for cats, who are commonly considered less trainable than dogs. AAHA’s pet behavior brochures are targeted to help clients who are facing behavioral issues at home and have been updated to fit the latest guidelines offered by AAHA.
To take the guesswork out of assessing fees, use a “fee grid” that groups surgeries by difficulty and length, suggest the authors of The Veterinary Fee Reference: Vital Statistics for Your Veterinary Practice. Setting the price for surgeries is not just about increasing last year’s fees by X percent. It also takes into account the value to the client, the time required for client education, and the time involved to provide the desired care, as well as market rates with elective surgeries.
Oral health is critical to a patient’s overall health but is only 4% of the total income of a practice, according to Financial and Productivity Pulsepoints: Vital Statistics for Your Veterinary Practice. One way to boost that number is to add a recommended dental cleaning message at the bottom of client receipts, such as “Oral health is critical to your pet’s overall health. Dental check-ups insure that.” You can also customize the message by adding the due date of the patient's next dental check-up.
Candid employee conversations about unacceptable behavior aren’t easy to have. In fact, you may be tempted to put off the discussion as long as you can. “Don’t,” say the authors of Practice Makes Perfect: A Complete Guide to Veterinary Practice Management. The task will only become more difficult. Instead, employ the “rule of three,” note the authors, citing Peter Bregman, a leadership consultant.
If you’re looking for economical ways to alleviate your patients’ angst when they come for a visit, the answer may be right under your nose—or eyes, ears, mouth, and body, according to the authors of Canine Medical Massage: Techniques and Clinical Applications. By appealing to your patients’ five senses with some easy-to-implement practices, you can reduce the environmental stress that impacts them.
Setting the price for lab services doesn’t have to be guesswork. In fact, by referring to four checkpoints for calculating lab costs, as well as other services, you can insure that your practice is covering its expenses. Those four checkpoints, with detailed explanations, are outlined in The Veterinary Fee Reference: Vital Statistics for Your Veterinary Practice. Also provided is valuable data about other practice fee areas in light of median household income, metropolitan status, and more.
Approximately 50% of employees leave their jobs because of their managers, according to a study by the market research firm Gallup, released April 2. And what employees increasingly want is open communication. But communication is as unique as each employee. That’s where understanding your employees’ individual behavior styles is helpful. Those styles are outlined in Practice Makes Perfect: A Complete Guide to Veterinary Practice Management, and include the Driver, the Influencer, the Analytical, and the Relater.