Get on top of missed charges in your practice

What do you think are the top five reasons why your practice income hasn’t been as good as it needs to be to achieve your financial objectives? Was it because of the struggling domestic economy, a drop in client numbers, too much competition, that low cost corporate that opened up down the road or some other external factor over which you have little or no control. Or could it possibly be that the fault lies with you, your business, your practice or perhaps your employees.

If that’s the case, it’s a management problem. Episode 110 of the Veterinary Business Video Show includes a clip in which Diederik Gelderman suggests that a regular practice audit can help you find out whether or not missed charges are a factor in your practice.

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UK numbers update for the year to October 2013

The Management Analysis Index provided by AT Veterinary Systems is a quarterly benchmarking service which monitors a number of marketing and other key performance indicators.

Episode 109 of the Veterinary Business Video Show includes a clip in which we see how the numbers for small animal practice in the UK have changed over the twelve months from October 2012 to October 2013

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Should a debt-laden veterinary graduate borrow even more money to buy a practice?

I recently created a short video presentation called ‘Why We Need a New Veterinary Business Forum’ and uploaded it to YouTube. The video highlights the poor level of financial performance generated by many veterinary practices around the world, the impact on practice owners, investors, employees and clients and the possible need for an international forum to address some of the problems it identifies. Here’s the link – Against that trend of course, there are plenty of practices which are run as effective and efficient businesses with an emphasis on customer service and which do provide their owners with a healthy return on investment. So would it make sense for a debt-laden veterinary graduate to borrow even more money to buy a practice.

Karen Felsted thinks it would and I think she’s right. Episode 109 of the Veterinary Business Video Show includes a clip from the DVM360 Channel in which Karen explains why

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You can judge the quality of veterinary medicine by looking at the quality of the medical records

One of those pearls of wisdom that I must have heard years ago and which has stuck in my mind ever since is that you can judge the quality of veterinary medicine in a practice by looking at the quality of the medical records. A significant proportion of the time taken during or immediately after a client consultation involves keying in the medical records in accordance with the SOAP or other protocol you use.

Of course it can be time consuming but it’s not only essential to maintain good medical standards but equally important for your veterinary business. Episode 108 of the Veterinary Business Video Show includes a clip in which Joel Parker, a vet and business consultant in Canada, explains why

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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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Some tips to offset lost product sales at your practice

Throughout my professional career as a vet, there has been a consensus view I think, that practices undercharged for their professional expertise and relied too much on the sale of products to generate practice profits. The problem with such a strategy is that the number and effectiveness of competing suppliers in the market for animal health and veterinary products has increased dramatically and that animal owners, like most other consumer groups, use the internet to seek out consumer information and no longer assume that their local veterinary practice is the best, most convenient or most cost-effective supplier of the products they’re looking for

Episode 107 of the Veterinary Business Video Show includes a clip in which Fritz Wood, a CPA and business consultant to the profession, offers some tips to offset lost product sales at your practice

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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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Business Optimism in the Veterinary Industry

The commercial exhibition at the London Vet Show in November was huge and around 50 of the more than 300 commercial stands, were devoted to the business, rather than the clinical aspects of practice.

I sensed that a good deal of business optimism was about this year and I recorded 2 short clips Episode 105 of the Veterinary Business Video Show – the first with Derek King, Managing Director of VetBuild Solutions, who reported that investment in practice premises was on the rise. I also had a word with Ian Kynock and Stephen Barabas, Director of VBS Direct who spoke about the success of their K Laser Therapy as one treatment option to enhance client service and grow practice income.

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