How To Increase Your Veterinary Recalls and Reminders

Years ago when I owned my first practice as a solo vet, we ran a very simple but effective system to remind owners that their pets were due for their annual booster vaccination. At that time we had no computers, mobile phones, faxes or e.mails and the reception staff were charged with filling out and addressing a postcard, stamping it and put it in a box ready to be posted 12 months hence, every single time a client came in with a cat or dog for their initial or booster vaccination. The system was so simple it really couldn’t go wrong and from memory, recall rates for the first posted reminder were 65% or more rising to 70 or 80% after the second or third reminder.

What’s changed over the last thirty or forty years? Is it because practices are fully computerised and staff have forgotten how to use a pen a paper. Is it because clients aren’t so ready to accept professional advice or is it because vets are less confident about offering firm advice about the value of preventive medicine.

Episode 107 of the Veterinary Business Video Show includes a clip in which Diederik Gelderman, a management consultant based near Sydney, offers some suggestions and practical tips to improve your response rates

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Why does vaccination compliance fall off dramatically between puppyhood and a two year old?

The latest figures from the MAI report from AT Systems, indicate that in the UK, 78.8% of puppies and 58.1% of kittens are up to date with the recommended vaccination programme but that the numbers fall off dramatically to 58.4% and 47.9% respectively, two years later. Why does it happen? Well – it’s clearly an issue of poor compliance with professional advice. The first question is why? If anyone is to blame, is it the client or the practice? This is a major business management problem for practice and I was delighted to have an opportunity of talking to Andrew Carter, Head of Client and Member Services at the Premier Vet Alliance during the London Vet Show

Episode 106 of the Veterinary Business Video Show includes a clip in which Andrew talks about a new approach to improving compliance and increasing practice revenue

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Working with a practice development group to achieve individual and group objectives

Alan Robinson of VetDynamics is a regular contributor at the London Vet Show and always attracts a large and lively audience. This year was no exception and Alan was also able to host a separate lunchtime session promoting the benefits of small groups of practice owners and managers meeting and working together on a regular basis with a mentor or group facilitator to define and achieve agreed group and practice objectives.

One of the group mentors and speakers was Jenny Guyat and Episode 105 of the Veterinary Business Video Show includes a clip in which she she talks about her role and the results her groups have been able to achieve

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What do you understand by the term – solutions marketing?

If a solution is an action or process that solves a problem then solution marketing could be described as the process of defining, informing, and providing solutions that help customers to solve their problems and achieve value.

Could solution marketing be a concept which might apply to the veterinary industry and the relationship between a veterinary practice and its clients.

Practice management consultant Karyn Gavzer certainly thinks so – Episode 104 of the Veterinary Business Video Show includes a clip in which she offers one example and suggests that you too, think of some examples of problems facing your clients which your practice might be able to solve.

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What to do when the phone doesn’t ring and the door doesn’t swing

One of the hot practice management topics in recent years has related to compliance – that is the extent to which veterinary patients actually receive the treatment or other healthcare measures recommended by their vet, nurse or other professional. If compliance is poor – and all too often it is, there’s a tendency to blame the clients for not accepting professional advice. The reality in most cases, is that the fault lies with poor practice management – not the client. What about those days when business is quiet? when the phone doesn’t ring and the door doesn’t swing?

Episode 103 of the Veterinary Business Video Show includes a clip in which Janice Wheeler suggests similarly, that the likeliest cause for quiet days isn’t the weather or some other external factor, but poor practice management

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Is your veterinary practice a good investment?

If you own or are planning to own a veterinary practice – can I ask you this question? Did you buy into practice because it offers you job security and because you wanted to be your own boss as a clinician – or because you regard practice ownership as an investment. I imagine that for most owners, it was both – but if you consider your practice as an investment and to build wealth for your retirement, much will depend on its ability to deliver a healthy level of profit.

So with that in mind – ask yourself what are your three key costs which influence profit and the value of your practice, how much profit are you really making, how many client transactions do the vets in your practice handle on a daily basis and how do all those numbers compare with other similar practices?

Episode 103 of the Veterinary Business Video Show includes a clip which will show you how to find out online, here and now

Best regards

Tom Catanzaro at the AVAPM Conference in Sydney

Tom Catanzaro is an American consultant, now living and working in Australia. He is principal of Veterinary Consulting International and a prolific author of scores of articles, books and other veterinary business management publications. The theme of Toms sessions at the AVA Practice Management Conference were Team Based Healthcare Delivery and Leadership in veterinary practice.

Episode 102 of the Veterinary Business Video Show includes a clip from Tom Catanzaro with some important business suggestions for your practice

Best regards

Proposed Development Group for four Special Practice Managers

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For some time I have been developing a systematic approach to the management of veterinary practices and am now at the stage when I would like to invite the managers of just four mainly small animal UK practices to become involved as members of a small Practice Development Group committed to the success of ‘their’ veterinary practice and their own careers in veterinary practice management.

You will need to be an experienced veterinary practice manager in a position of authority and actively involved with the practice owner/s in planning, implementing and delivering policies designed to achieve the professional and commercial objectives of the practice.

The Group will comprise the selected managers and a moderator and meetings will be held live and online so you can share all documents, reports and presentations on your computer screen. Group meetings are recorded to enable members to review the presentations, discussions, business tools and action plans agreed by the Group.

Please click here to send me an e.mail expressing your possible interest and to request a copy of the Practice Development Group Report for further information.

Stressed by a slow internet connection?

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It’s been claimed in a recent press report that we spend up to 13 minutes a day – that’s equivalent to 11 full days a year – waiting for websites to load – and that as the internet becomes accessible on more smart phones, tablets and other gadgets, the more are the chances are that tempers will flare. Apparently one in 10 adults feel stress levels soar when their internet crashes and 14 per cent worry more about their internet connection than missing a family birthday.

Episode 101 of the Veterinary Business Video Show includes links to two simple, free tools which you can use online to test the speed of your internet connection. If you get stressed by a slow internet connection, you could use one of these tools to investigate the problem or you of course, could take the dog for a walk. Which would make you feel better quicker? – I’d go for the second option every time!