VETERINARY ECONOMICS, Mar 1, 2008 - Veterinary Economics
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VETERINARY ECONOMICS, Mar 1, 2008
Cover Story
The grass is greener
By Amanda Bertholf
Dr. Charles Pullen was ectstatic when he learned his Animal Medical & Surgical Center in Scottsdale, Ariz., was the 2008 Hospital of the Year.
Associate Know-how
To be the boss or not?
By Craig Woloshyn, DVM
Will the pressures of being a boss be balanced out by the joys of self-determination? Will you mind longer hours if you know you'll hold on to the financial rewards? These are the questions that can cause an eager associate to wake up late at night in a cold sweat.
Growth Center
Using software for consistent care
By Brendan Howard, Business and Team Channel Director
Dr. David McGrath is owner of seven practices, and at one time they used four software programs between them. Now they all use the same system. This has allowed them to try new ideas to boost compliance, which so far have resulted in gross revenue increases of up to 50 percent. Take Dr. McGrath's lessons into account as you evaluate your own practice software—and what it can do for you.
Checking in
Thanks for making my job great
By Marnette Denell Falley
You're a wonderful, generous, gracious group. And I've enjoyed working with you and for you as the editor of Veterinary Economics.
Hot Button
Write or wrong
By Andrew Rollo, DVM
It's 10 a.m. on Monday morning. Mrs. Hodge rushes in with her 13-year-old miniature Schnauzer, which is lethargic and vomiting. The problems began yesterday, and all Mrs. Hodge can tell you is that she's been giving her dog some kind of pill for the past week.
Building the Bond
House of the dead
By Michael Petty, DVM
I had just come in from a walk when my phone rang. As any veterinarian knows, getting a call this late at night could mean only one thing: a sick animal.
Cover story
Parasite control: It's in the mail
By Philip VanVranken, DVM
Brochures let us explain the technical aspects of parasite-related diseases, the tests to detect them, and the products to control them. Maybe some of our ideas could work for you too.
Practice Growth
Footprints = profits
By Mark Opperman, CVPM
Don't despair at few new clients. Just follow the feet!
Downloadable phone scripts
By Mark Opperman, CVPM
Evaluate the phone skills of receptionists at your clinic and others with these downloadable Excel documents.
You do what else?
Taking to the skies on vintage wings
By Paul Tulacz, DVM
I don't have the urge to escape to some other venue.
Practice Tips
The benefits of cross-training
By Bob Levoy
If employees can handle various tasks, then you can shift people in and out of jobs as needed—without calling in temporary workers, running up overtime costs, or stinting on client services.
The right way to quit
By Jeff Rothstein, DVM, MBA
A team member quit recently. She gave two weeks' notice but didn't fully complete it and was supposed to train someone to take over her job duties but didn't. After being a valued team member for so long, why did she choose to leave on a sour note?
Deducting reimbursements
By Gary Glassman, CPA
Know how your expenses are reimbursed to be sure you get the right deductions.
Solar panels save on energy costs
By Amanda Bertholf
Skyrocketing energy prices and concerns about global warming prompted the owner of Middlebury Animal Hospital in Middlebury, Conn., to invest in solar energy.
Lights! Camera! Meet!
By Angie Hartin
Our 24-hour clinic has a main office, three satellite facilities, 14 veterinarians, and 80-plus team members, so staff communication is always a challenge. In addition to a weekly newsletter, we have monthly meetings for each department and a monthly staff meeting for everyone.
Equine Solutions
It's not too late for deductions
By Elise Lacher, CPA
You still may be able to lower your tax bill.
Vetcetera
A head made for poking
By Brendan Howard, Business and Team Channel Director
It starts with the head. The simulated head of a Labrador, that is.
Does your team want you gone?
By Brendan Howard, Business and Team Channel Director
If you feel cartoon daggers hitting you in the back of your head at work when you walk by your grumpiest employees, you may not be hallucinating.
Annoyances on the job
The top 10 things
Projectile's new lead singer passes away
By Brendan Howard, Business and Team Channel Director
Dr. Tom Arand won a contest to head Projectile at last year's CVC Central.
HOY
2008 Hospital of the Year: The grass is greener
By Amanda Wolfe, Associate Editor
Dr. Charles Pullen first heard the news from his daughter Lindsey.
Legal Ease
Information on workplace rules for cytotoxic drugs
OSHA and Centers for Disease Control links to documents and safety rules.
Apes all done with experiments
By Brendan Howard, Business and Team Channel Director
A new federal law guarantees that some primates who've served as scientific guinea pigs won't go under the knife again.
Don't be exposed
By Phil Seibert, CVT
Good equipment and procedures are necessary, but they don't eliminate the need for proper workspace design and facility preparation.
Judgment for you—now what?
By Karl Salzsieder, DVM, JD
I've recently won a lawsuit. What's my next step?
Maryland monkey comes home
By Brendan Howard, Business and Team Channel Director
In December a judge ordered the return of Armani, a capuchin monkey, to the home of Rockville, Md., resident Elyse Gazewitz. Armani had been in custody at a zoo since May, when he was seized after an animal sanctuary employee called authorities to report Gazewitz's possession of the monkey.
Practice Management Q&A
Associate vehicle ownership and care
By Mark Baus, DVM
Should we require our associate veterinarians to own their own vehicles? We're finding that they don't take care of the practice-owned trucks. What are the ramifications of making this change, and what are other practices doing?
Educating clients about first aid and CPR
Our practice is interested in offering pet first aid and CPR classes to our clients. How do we get started?
House call compensation
By Mark Opperman, CVPM
I'm a house call veterinarian who'd like to continue to perform surgeries and take radiographs in order to maintain my skills. What's the appropriate amount of compensation for a veterinarian who allows me to use his or her hospital for these purposes?
American Red Cross has pet first aid
A link to information on pet first aid from the American Red Cross.
Plentiful food sales
By Andrew Rollo, DVM
How can I encourage clients to buy pet food and other supplies from my practice?
Technology
Tips for transferring written medical records to electronic files
By Kristi Reimer, Editor
A how-to for moving paper records to your hard drive.
The benefits and challenges of paperless practice
By Jeff Rothstein, DVM, MBA
What to consider before going electronic.
The paperless plunge
By Kristi Reimer, Editor
The only thing that anyone can count on for sure in the arena of paperless veterinary practice is that the experience is different for everyone.
Paperless practice at Banfield, The Pet Hospital
By Kristi Reimer, Editor
Dr. Kerri Marshall, MBA, knew the moment she caught of a glimpse of it that she was a fan.
Hospital Design
2008 Hospital of the Year: Surrounding businesses
By Amanda Bertholf
The neighbors help create an image. Photos by Jessica Castillon.
2008 Hospital of the Year: Traffic-flow system
By Amanda Bertholf
This flashy system helps the team communicate without saying a word. Photos by Jessica Castillon.
2008 Hospital of the Year: Second-floor plan
By Amanda Bertholf
Animal Medical & Surgical Center in Scottsdale, Ariz.
2008 Hospital of the Year: Second-floor plumbing plan
By Amanda Bertholf
Animal Medical & Surgical Center in Scottsdale, Ariz.
2008 Hospital of the Year: First-floor plan
By Amanda Bertholf
Animal Medical & Surgical Center in Scottsdale, Ariz.
2008 Hospital of the Year: Site plan
By Amanda Bertholf
Animal Medical & Surgical Center in Scottsdale, Ariz.
2008 Hospital of the Year: First-floor HVAC plan
By Amanda Bertholf
Animal Medical & Surgical Center in Scottsdale, Ariz.
2008 Hospital of the Year: Staff lounge, lockers, mailboxes
By Amanda Bertholf
Include just-for-team-member features in your new hospital. Photos by Jessica Castillon and Stephen M. Pullen.
2008 Hospital of the Year: Second-floor HVAC plan
By Amanda Bertholf
Animal Medical & Surgical Center in Scottsdale, Ariz.
2008 Hospital of the Year floor plans
By Amanda Bertholf
Web-only HVAC, plumbing, and general floor plans for this year's Hospital Design award winner: Animal Medical & Surgical Center in Scottsdale, Ariz.
2008 Hospital of the Year: First-floor plumbing plan
By Amanda Bertholf
Animal Medical & Surgical Center in Scottsdale, Ariz.
Practice Finances
The traits of an underearner
By Jan Miller
Read this list to see if you or someone you love is earning less than they should.
Products
2008 Hospital of the Year: Another view of reception
Another look at reception.

Photo by Al Payne, A.F. Payne Photographic Inc. and Steven M. Pullen

Animal Medical & Surgical Center, Scottsdale, Ariz.
2008 Hospital of the Year: Canine boarding
Dr. Charles Pullen wasn't going to include boarding in his plans but was later convinced it could pay a good portion, if not all, of his monthly mortgage. And it has done just that more than a few times in the last year. His architect came up with the idea of putting the boarding and dog park on the second floor because there wasn't enough space to keep all ancillary services on one level. A boarding manager who's also a certified obedience trainer runs the boarding facility and manages the staff.

Photo by Al Payne, A.F. Payne Photographic Inc. and Steven M. Pullen

Animal Medical & Surgical Center, Scottsdale, Ariz.
2008 Hospital of the Year: Doctors' consultation area
Part of the doctors' office is devoted to a wall-mounted keyboard, mouse, and display.

Photo by Al Payne, A.F. Payne Photographic Inc. and Steven M. Pullen

Animal Medical & Surgical Center, Scottsdale, Ariz.
2008 Hospital of the Year: Doctors' office
These offices were designed to be professional yet welcoming to clients during consultations.

Photo by Al Payne, A.F. Payne Photographic Inc. and Steven M. Pullen

Animal Medical & Surgical Center, Scottsdale, Ariz.
2008 Hospital of the Year: Exam room
The hospital has six exam rooms. The two larger ones are used for large-breed dogs. Each room is equipped with a networked, wall-mounted computer and video screen, which gives the team access to medical records, radiographs, or video showing clients the inside of the pet's mouth or ear canal. Exam tables were rounded to eliminate sharp corners.

Photo by Al Payne, A.F. Payne Photographic Inc. and Steven M. Pullen

Animal Medical & Surgical Center, Scottsdale, Ariz.
2008 Hospital of the Year: Exterior
Pop-up rooflines, attractive overhangs, arched windows, and subtle earth tones give this hospital the look of a professional medical complex without the industrial feeling. Dr. Charles Pullen wanted the hospital to be situated among other professional medical buildings, not gas stations and fast food restaurants.

Photo by Al Payne, A.F. Payne Photographic Inc. and Steven M. Pullen

Animal Medical & Surgical Center, Scottsdale, Ariz.
2008 Hospital of the Year: Feline boarding
Each condo is equipped with a patented active ventilation system constructed entirely of PVC, including the fans, to eliminate all odors in this area. Fresh air enters through ventilation holes in the front door and is actively exhausted through the condo and then outside with several exchanges per hour. If a condo is soiled, it's cleaned immediately. A full-time team member exclusively handles all the housekeeping and laundry duties. In order to prevent further odor, no paper products are used for cleaning, only white towels, blankets, or artificial sheepskins are used.

Photo by Al Payne, A.F. Payne Photographic Inc. and Steven M. Pullen

Animal Medical & Surgical Center, Scottsdale, Ariz.
2008 Hospital of the Year: Feline prep


Photo by Al Payne, A.F. Payne Photographic Inc. and Steven M. Pullen

Animal Medical & Surgical Center, Scottsdale, Ariz.
2008 Hospital of the Year: Interior of canine boarding
Sports toys, beds, food, water, and a TV.

Photo by Al Payne, A.F. Payne Photographic Inc. and Steven M. Pullen

Animal Medical & Surgical Center, Scottsdale, Ariz.
2008 Hospital of the Year: Logo at night


Photo by Al Payne, A.F. Payne Photographic Inc. and Steven M. Pullen

Animal Medical & Surgical Center, Scottsdale, Ariz.
2008 Hospital of the Year: Logo in daylight
The sconces were cut from aluminum in the shape of the practice's logo by a water laser. Located along the exterior of the building between windows, during the day they stand out in earth tones and the building's trim color. At night they're backlit. This branding, Dr. Charles Pullen says, has caused the community to refer to the practice as "the building with the heart logo."

Photo by Al Payne, A.F. Payne Photographic Inc. and Steven M. Pullen

Animal Medical & Surgical Center, Scottsdale, Ariz.
2008 Hospital of the Year: Main entry
The curved sidewalk creates soft lines that direct clients toward the main entrance.

Photo by Al Payne, A.F. Payne Photographic Inc. and Steven M. Pullen

Animal Medical & Surgical Center, Scottsdale, Ariz.
2008 Hospital of the Year: Reception area
Earthy materials, a fireplace and a plasma TV, a bronze sculpture, and free cold drinks and dog and cat treats welcome clients.

Photo by Al Payne, A.F. Payne Photographic Inc. and Steven M. Pullen

Animal Medical & Surgical Center, Scottsdale, Ariz.
2008 Hospital of the Year: Stairwell
The architect made this area a feature of the building by designing multiple clusters of nine windows. This creates a dramatic view from the outside at night and gives the appearance that the stairs are floating in mid-air. During the day, the windows provide an aesthetically pleasing "room of light," rather than a drab, standard stairwell. The nearby McDowell Mountains are also visible through the windows.

Photo by Al Payne, A.F. Payne Photographic Inc. and Steven M. Pullen

Animal Medical & Surgical Center, Scottsdale, Ariz.
2008 Hospital of the Year: Surgery
Another look at surgery.

Photo by Al Payne, A.F. Payne Photographic Inc. and Steven M. Pullen

Animal Medical & Surgical Center, Scottsdale, Ariz.
2008 Hospital of the Year: Surgery
Dr. Charles Pullen spends the majority of his time in surgery, so he designed the suite exactly how he wanted it. The three operating tables are arranged so they can all be serviced by the same instrument room. The floor-to-ceiling glass wall creates a major-surgery suite for advanced procedures and prevents air movement from the minor-surgery suite, all without making the two spaces feel closed in. A remote-controlled camera allows clients to observe their pets' surgery and also records the procedure on DVD for clients or referring doctors.

Photo by Al Payne, A.F. Payne Photographic Inc. and Steven M. Pullen

Animal Medical & Surgical Center, Scottsdale, Ariz.
2008 Hospital of the Year: Treatment area
This is the nerve center for medical and surgical procedures. There are four treatment tables. Three are used for minor surgeries, wound or skin preparation, and dental procedures. The fourth is designed for anesthesia induction. From this central area, patients can be taken to surrounding areas for radiography, surgery, ICU, endoscopy, or ultrasound. The treatment area also includes a workstation with three computers so that the doctors can maintain complete medical records. The large whiteboard coordinates all the ongoing treatments for every patient in the hospital.

Photo by Al Payne, A.F. Payne Photographic Inc. and Steven M. Pullen

Animal Medical & Surgical Center, Scottsdale, Ariz.
2008 Hospital of the Year: Water element
The hospital's entry has a water feature with a trellis and an arched canopy. Plants and trees that attract hummingbirds were chosen. The landscaping and the water feature give visitors the feeling that they are entering a garden, and these elements are also visible from the inside of the building through the glass entryway.

Photo by Al Payne, A.F. Payne Photographic Inc. and Steven M. Pullen

Animal Medical & Surgical Center, Scottsdale, Ariz.

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