VETERINARY ECONOMICS, Oct 1, 2004 - Veterinary Economics
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VETERINARY ECONOMICS, Oct 1, 2004
Cover Story
Four signs that you should throw on the brakes
By Ernest Ward Jr., DVM
If any of these phrases pop up when you're discussing the possibility of an employee working part time, beware. Part-time status won't solve anything if your employee's saying ...
Handling benefits for part-timers
By Ernest Ward Jr., DVM
Most part-time employees don't qualify for health insurance, retirement, or other employee benefits. And you must offer fair and equivalent benefits to all team members, regardless of whether they're a new hire or a 15-year veteran at your reception desk. If you don't, you're asking for a discrimination case.
Associates: Thinking about part time? Use these questions to map out a plan
By Ernest Ward Jr., DVM
You're a dedicated doctor. You spent eight years preparing for and enduring veterinary medical school. For the past six years as an associate, you've lived your dream.
Managing Smart
How do you manage your manager?
If you hire a practice manager, what would be your role as a practice owner? What guidance should you provide the manager? What type of supervision is required? In short, how do you manage a practice manager?
10 steps to a smoother running practice
By Mark Opperman, CVPM
Recently, a veterinarian in the process of hiring a new practice manager asked me "What are the 10 things a practice manager needs to know to be effective?" What a great question! It took a little thinking to narrow the "must-know" list to just 10 items. But whether you're an owner-veterinarian, a practice manager, or the owner's managing spouse, I think you need to apply these strategies to manage the practice effectively.
Practice Tips
Which consultant should you pick?
Thinking of getting outside help to address your current challenge? A consultant can improve efficiency, organization, and practice profits. But to get the most for your money, you must find the right match by asking these four important questions.
Make your mailings more efficient
By Lynette Ott
Barton Heights Veterinary Hospital saves time and money by using a simple design for informational letters on such topics as flea and tick products or Pet Dental Health Month. The practice team uses a copy center to reproduce and tri-fold the letters on colored paper, says practice manager Lynette Ott. The single, tri-folded sheets don't need envelopes and can be mailed without taping or stapling, saving the practice time, labor, and money, she says. She offers these other simple tips.
Looking into labor laws: hours and overtime
Speculation, rumor, and stubbornness abound regarding such issues as paying employees for overtime and granting maternity leave.
The threat from the 'Net
By Stephanie Slahor, Ph.D., JD
The Internet's an invaluable tool, but it also can pose a threat to your practice by leaking proprietary information and by opening your system to hackers and viruses, says Dr. Stephanie Slahor, JD, Ph.D. The key to protecting your practice: Make sure team members don't let sensitive information out via message boards, mass mailings, file transfer protocol sites, or chat rooms, she says. The safest bet? If it's confidential, don't say it online!
America is trading up
By Bob Levoy
In their new book, Trading Up: The New American Luxury (Portfolio, 2003), Michael Silverstein and Neil Fiske found that today's consumer is willing to spend more, or trade up, for goods and services with higher perceived quality levels.
Are you practicing good backup habits?
By Melody Mann Fox, CPA
Do you back up your QuickBooks file regularly? If not, you risk losing your data. Follow these tips to make sure your information is there when you need it.
Practice Management Q&A
Setting reception hours
By Jennette Rosier Lawson
How many hours should I schedule for my receptionists in relation to the number of veterinarians on staff?
A partner who isn't working
By Roger Cummings, CVPM
After we hired an associate, my partner started cutting back on the number of patients he sees without consulting me. How should I handle this?
Storing your stuff
By Wayne Usiak, AIA
My treatment area is on the small side, and I wish I could give myself more space to work. Is there a better way to arrange my equipment and supplies so I’m not tripping over everything?
Cell phones a-ringin'
By W. Bradford Swift, DVM
What should I say when clients answer their cell phones during their pets' exams? I think they’d be irritated if I stopped exams to take personal calls.
Securing your Social Security
By Gary Glassman, CPA
My partner recently received information about her Social Security benefits. Should I have received a statement too?

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