When a glass is half-empty, it’s also half-full. So let’s fill it up. That’s the outlook among veterinary leaders following disappointing news that the profession has made little progress – and some lost ground – since 2010, despite a concerted, widespread effort to promote companion animal preventive care.
Hospital managers and administrators outperformed inflation, but worked longer hours in 2011, according to new survey results from the Veterinary Hospital Manager’s Association (VHMA).
AAHAs New Guidelines Based on Scientific Data, Include Shelters, Provisional Vaccines
While growing numbers of foreclosures are forcing homeowners out of their homes, sometimes pets are left behind to fend for themselves. But veterinarians can help by recognizing an imminent foreclosure and helping clients arrange for their pets’ welfare. The Animal Welfare League of Montgomery County operates a cat-only no-kill shelter in Gaithersburg, Md. Shelter volunteer Peg Webber said the number of people giving up their cats this year has nearly doubled. Her shelter has already had to turn away almost 200 cats so far, due to the limited space and number of foster homes. Last year the shelter turned away about 210 cats for the entire year. Many of these cases are related to foreclosure. “They’ll just say ‘I have to move,’ but after a bit of talking with them it’s obvious why,” Webber said.
The inaugural Veterinary Innovation Challenge (VIC) finished strong in September, producing a winning team with a product that Nikhil Joshi, VIC executive director, said has the potential to "shake the industry." NEWStat gave SPEAK co-founder Jamie Peisel the chance to discuss her experience at the competition, details surrounding the product she developed, and her future plans for SPEAK.
With the world economy melting faster than the polar ice caps, your instinct might be to lay low and weather the storm. But, some experts and practitioners say, the economic climes might be a fair wind that could accelerate the trend toward practice consolidation. “In general, crises will accelerate a trend toward consolidation for reducing overhead costs and personnel costs,” said Lawrence Gelburd, a lecturer at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School. “It could be a smart move if [practices] can lower their overhead without having to go out and borrow a lot of money.”
When a medical error leads to an “adverse outcome,” the veterinarian needs to take some steps right away. Obviously, the doctor should first tend to the patient’s immediate clinical care. Then, he or she should develop a clear picture of what happened, and, while recognizing his or her own emotions and needs about the incident, prepare for discussion with the client. Careful preparation begins with verifying what went wrong and what steps will be taken to prevent the error’s recurrence. More important, it involves anticipating and devising an empathetic response to the client’s emotional reaction—and apologizing forthrightly for committing the error. Veterinarians will experience greatest success with clients if they take the time to think through and plan the conversation they will have to explain and apologize for the error, according to Kathleen Bonvicini, EdD, MPH, associate director for education and research at the New Haven, Conn.-based Institute for Healthcare Communication.
In the 2014 AAHA State of the Industry report, IDEXX and AAHA together discovered that veterinary practices who focus on strengthening four specific types of bonds are more likely to prosper. With that knowledge in hand, IDEXX is going all-in on an effort to help practices strengthen each of those bonds.
If California veterinarian Dr. Doug Kramer has his way, cats and dogs will someday become legal recipients of medical marijuana prescriptions. The headline-making veterinarian who is devoted to holistic health care for pets has been actively campaigning for the legalization of medical marijuana for pets.
Complementary Approaches to Veterinary Medicine: Practical Resources Shared at AAHA Conference