VETERINARY ECONOMICS, Sep 1, 2006 - Veterinary Economics
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VETERINARY ECONOMICS, Sep 1, 2006
Checking in
No time for hand holding?
By Marnette Denell Falley
OK, let's say you've been reading all our earnest articles about personnel management, and you've decided our recommendations boil down to this: Let your team suck every bit of energy from your body and then relish in the final freedom as your dusty molecules fly to the ends of the earth on the hot wind. That's not what we mean. Really.
Vetcetera
Wallet-size now available
Fluffy would probably rather hide under the bed than go to the mall, but now her face can be there every time you swipe your credit card.
A pet's life: Priceless
Do you know how much your clients are willing to spend to save their pet's life? Seventy percent of the more than 5,200 respondents to a recent poll of pet owners and policy holders conducted by Veterinary Pet Insurance (VPI) say they would pay any amount of money to save their pet's life.
Every dog has its day
Chiclet the dog, with a little help from her human, Jan Rasmusen (someone had to do the typing), won the 2006 Ben Franklin Award for Best Health Book this summer.
Woman's best friend
Rover might not be able to cook dinner or fold the laundry, but how many husbands do those chores anyway? Seventy-eight percent of respondents to an online poll say they'd rather have a pet than a husband.
Practice Management Q&A
Fruitful marketing promotion or frivolous flop?
By Linda Wasche
We received a promotion from a magazine that allows us to send customized issues to our best clients every quarter. Will this promotion generate the type of return we've been looking for?
Clients for sale
By Tom McFerson, CPA, ABV
I'm going to sell my list of 1,300 active clients to a practice located about five miles from mine.How much should I charge?
Toxic team
By Joel Parker, DVM
Lately, when I get to the clinic, I can hardly wait to leave. The clients are great, but there's a lot of negativity among the team members. What can I do?
Hablamos Espanol aqui?
By Jeff Rothstein, DVM, MBA
What can I do to be sure my practice is accommodating the needs of the Hispanic population?
Sticky salary situation
By Mark Opperman, CVPM
I've been with the same clinic for seven years. There's a lot of turnover, and my boss hires new graduates. Depending on my day, I'm stuck playing teacher with up to three new veterinarians. My boss isn't around much and says I'm not pulling my weight given what I'm being paid. How can I explain the situation to him?
Practice Tips
Wellness done well
By Pam Jamieson
Laminated educational review sheets for annual wellness exams engage clients and save paper. With National Pet Wellness Month around the corner, it's a great time to spice up your wellness exams.
5 tips for savvy e-communications
By Rebecca Hart
As we communicate more through e-mail, electronic etiquette is evolving. Make sure you're evolving, too.
Prepare clients for the unexpected
By Bob Levoy
Countless companion animals suffered during last year's hurricane season and many lost their lives because of a lack of planning. Help your clients think ahead about emergencies.
You're valuable—it's true
By Jeff Rothstein, DVM, MBA
Back in the trenches, I've realized that often we're worth more than we think. Don't undervalue your skills; the truth is that most people couldn't do your job.
Talking Points
6 ways to earn R-E-S-P-E-C-T
By Craig Woloshyn, DVM
Do your staff members respect -- or better yet worship -- you? If not, you may be unconsciously stemming their admiration.
Click & Copy
Checking references
Are you taking a risk by not checking potential employees' references? Getting information might be easier than you think.
Pet obesity handout
Obesity is a growing problem in pets. Use educational handouts like this one to help your clients better understand obesity, the associated health risks, and what they can do.
Legal Ease
Just say yes to a drug-free workplace
By Phil Seibert, CVT
Almost half of illicit drug users who are employed full-time work at businesses with fewer than 25 employees. Find out how you can make your practice a drug-free zone.
Stemming Internet abuse
By Kerry Richard, JD
We'll soon have Internet services available for employees to use for ordering. We've said that personal use isn't allowed, but should I add this to the clinic's policy manual? What should I include?
Growth Center
Case study: Tours build the bond
Hospital tours attract new clients and cement your bond with existing ones. "We like to take the mystery away," says Dr. Lisa Barlow of Centennial Valley Animal Hospital PC in Louisville, Colo. "We think hospital tours help clients feel better about leaving their pets here."
Reminders aid all-around compliance
Few pets miss their regular test or get behind on their medications at Lost Mountain Animal Hospital in Marietta, Ga. That's because Tiffany Gluckman, a receptionist, sends out reminders to clients to make appointments for procedures, tests, and medications, such as T4 levels and phenobarbital screens every six months, heartworm medication every year, and regular dentals.
You do what else?
Reaching new heights
Once I discovered mountain climbing was something I could do, I wanted to push myself," says Dr. Michael Andrews. "When I was 20, I never thought I'd be doing something like this."
Hospital Design
A high-tech practice prairie style
By Sarah Moser
After 50 years in one location, West Suburban Veterinary Associates is poised for 50 more years of success in a new facility with a meticulous floor plan and cutting-edge technology.
Cover Story
"I save the owner 25 hours a week—and then some."
By Denise Tumblin, CPA
Practice managers lower turnover, free up the doctors' time so they can focus more on patients and clients, and improve the owners' sanity. Could you use one of these gems in your practice?
Equine Solutions
Collecting cash and keeping clients
By Sarah Moser
Getting paid for your services and staying in clients' good graces don't have to be mutually exclusive goals. Try these tips to collect fees quickly and with grace.
Life Balance
Recipe from the Hexagon House
Drs. Dave Durham and Ed Farnham enjoy serving this French-toast recipe to guests of their part-time endeavor, the Hexagon House.
Hey, baby
By Karen Wheeler, DVM
Juggling a career and kids may seem impossible. But with a little thought and planning, you can bring a baby onboard—and still keep your head above water.
Managing Smart
Wanted: Able associate, must love dogs
By Mark Opperman, CVPM
It's tougher than ever to get a strong new associate. But these strategies can help your practice stand out.
Receptionist position description
By Denise Tumblin, CPA
Position descriptions help you maintain your focus during the search for employees, communicate the responsibilities of the position to potential candidates, structure the orientation and training process, and assist in employee evaluations.
Receptionist training guidelines
By Denise Tumblin, CPA
Written training guidelines define the path your employees will take. Use these guidelines to develop yours.
7 bad moves
By Willam Lynott
Avoid these seven missteps to protect your practice's potential. (And avoid some sleepless nights.)
Hot Button
Real world fee setting
By Philip VanVranken, DVM
Not every client lives in a gated community. And when I look at benchmarks for fees, I think they're out of line with real-life practices—at least in our area.
Products
Custom-made runs
Dr. Main had custom-designed runs and cages built with four-inch block and glazed tile. Gates were also custom-made so the dogs wouldn't feel closed in. Each run has an individual drain as opposed to a trench drain, and night-lights were added to comfort the animals.

Photo by Aimee Lesatz, Plaidfish Communications

West Suburban Veterinary Associates in Westmont, Ill.
Grooved table
A key goal for the floor plan was a conveniently located treatment area that didn't cause congestion by becoming a path from the front to the back. In the finished facility, lots of windows provide natural sunlight as well as views into the surgery suite, the pharmacy, and the doctors' station. And Dr. Main designed a grooved table (in forefront of picture) to improve pets' comfort during procedures that require drainage.

Photo by Aimee Lesatz, Plaidfish Communications

West Suburban Veterinary Associates in Westmont, Ill.
Prairie-style building
The hospital sits between a bank and a residence, so Dr. Main wanted a prairi-style building that stood out but didn't look out of place near a residential area. He decided on a brick exterior and a monument sign with matching brick columns.

Photo by Aimee Lesatz, Plaidfish Communications

West Suburban Veterinary Associates in Westmont, Ill.
Safety and convenience
A central medical suction machine, central gas scavenger, and a four-tank oxygen delivery system add safety and convenience.

Photo by Aimee Lesatz, Plaidfish Communications

West Suburban Veterinary Associates in Westmont, Ill.
Stained-glass cat
In keeping with the prairie-style architecture, the doctors' work area and library include plenty of windows--including one stained-glass cat design. Flat-screen monitors at each desk, reference materials, and space to confer on cases make this room a much-used space for the doctors.

Photo by Aimee Lesatz, Plaidfish Communications

West Suburban Veterinary Associates in Westmont, Ill.

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