Practice Management News and Views from around the World – April 2016

Skydivers Are Awesome

4 ways to break veterinary clients' Dr. Google habit

From an article by Kathryn Primm and published on the DVVM360.com website

The Internet is a staple in most homes these days, and clients have access to medical information—both genuine and quackery. The trouble is that they have no training to discern the good from the bad. Here’s how you can communicate with clients who come in armed with information from Dr. Google:

1. Focus on the positive.

If your client is asking you, then all is not lost. Even though it’s frustrating to have to “unexplain” everything they think they have learned online, you’re getting the chance to right the wrongs, and the p

2. Don’t roll your eyes.

But you can certainly poke fun at Dr. Google. You can jokingly say, “Well, if you see it on the Internet, it must be true,” and most clients that trust you will respond favorably. Deep in their hearts, they know that they need to filter Internet information, and that’s why they asked you. You can laugh together about the wildness of the web and cement your relationship.You can break clients' Dr. Google habit.

3. Point them in a better direction

So much of what’s online is aimless wondering and attention-seeking junk. People instinctively know this, and if you’re calm and assured about the information you counter with, your credibility will shine.

4. Keep it real.

Remind them that if the post wasn’t written by a veterinary professional, it might not based on actual science. Point out that when reputable veterinarians share something that they submit their professional credibility to scrutiny. Veterinarians are more likely to make sure that experts agree with what they share and write.

Don’t die on the Dr. Google hill. Yes—it’s not worth losing the client and having the pet go untreated to assert your superiority. Listen to what the client has discovered online and try to find a tiny portion that you can validate so that the pet owner doesn’t feel silly or attacked. For example, if your canine patient has otitis and your clients have treated it with ear mite medication from the farm supply store, you might explain that ear mites are very real and you can see how they might have thought it was worth a try. Explain how glad you are that they’ve pulled you in to start more appropriate management.

As the pet’s advocate, you can make sure that the owner knows that you’ll be a resource anytime they need you. Point out that you know the pet and can make recommendations that are personalized and specific.

The Internet is not going away. We can’t beat ’em, so let’s redirect them so all roads lead to us.

You can click here to visit the DVM360.com website

At The End Of The Day – 8 Ways To Let It All Go

From a blog by Sheila Grosdidier and published on the VMC-Inc website

A friend was telling me how she often gets home from work and replays what was said, who was unhappy and what went wrong at work. It’s begun to be such a problem that she is noticing how her family avoids her at certain times. She feels like her mind just won’t let things go. There isn’t room for much else in your brain if these thoughts are taking over the day and the night (how do you sleep?)

Her comments were very familiar, I found myself quite often in the past going over and over a comment, a criticism or a conversation. And, I realized if I didn’t find a way to get this handled, it would indeed take over my life. These eight steps helped me almost immediately in my search to find that balance between when to come up with a plan and when to just let it go.

1.Reformat what was just said.

Instead of automatically thinking that someone is blaming me or criticizing me, I rephrase their comment in a neutral manner. “Instead of this schedule won’t work” I repeat back “you have concerns about the schedule, let’s discuss options and how we can meet your goals.” Instead of it being about me, the emphasis becomes on the problem, not the person. Make the statement not negative, but collaborative.

2.Reminders

In replaying these events in your mind, why does it seem like it’s always the bad things and not the good things we remember? At the end of the day, identify three things you did well and say them out loud to yourself. Seems like hearing it is much more impactful sometimes than just thinking it.

3.Accept

You are not responsible for other’s behaviors. They own it, not you.

4.Take out the trash

If you keep telling yourself, you aren’t good enough, skinny enough or smart enough, you will never be. Your world changes with the thoughts, try making those thoughts about what is positive and not what is negative. Do you want to be happy? Why don’t your thoughts reflect that?

5. Don’t accept the venom of others.

It’s okay to remind people in your family or at work that it’s not acceptable to speak like that to you. And, mind what you say to others. Ask for respect and be respectful.

6.If you can’t change it, then you will need to change the way you think about it

There’s very little to be gained by worry over what might never happen. What could you do with all the time you spend worrying about what never happens? Well, you cold be happy with what you have and enjoy the time right now.

If you can’t seem to get some thought out of your mind, write it down and tell yourself, it will be there when you come back tomorrow.

When you get home tonight, tell your family, or you dog what went well today, what did you do right? Limit the negatives to less than 20% of your conversation. And, if you mention something negative, make a point to let that other person (or canine) know that you are letting it go or going to do something about it.

Is it hard to change what that stinking thinking is in your brain that takes all the joy out of or day? You bet, but the good news is you have the ultimate control to change your thoughts. It’s going to be a long life, why not make it a happy one. Don’t carry all the burdens around in your mind. Let it go and see the difference.

What have you learned that makes it easier to end your day on a positive note?

You can click here to visit Sheila Grosdidier's website

Are you a leader? Or a manager? Can you be both?

From a blog by Sue Crampton,and published in the VetAnswers website

While often used interchangeably, there are some notable differences between leaders and managers. Managers do not always possess leadership skills and leaders are not always in management positions. So, what is a manager and what is a leader, and how do they fit into practice?

The difference is sometimes explained that......a leader is someone people will follow, and a manager is someone who has people working for them.

Are managers always leaders?

It is often assumed that those in management roles are automatically leaders, that simply being in a position of authority makes you a leader. In fact the term leadership position is sometimes used in place of management position. Managers are usually tasked with operational responsibilities, project management and team HR duties. Management is about setting out the plan to achieve the vision. A manager will develop the steps and the process, delegate the tasks and tick the boxes.

Leaders on the other hand do not necessarily have official positions in an organisation.

Effective, high performing managers will also be strong, capable leaders, but it is possible to lead from within a team. A leader is someone who people are drawn to follow. They emanate a strong belief in the vision of the organisation, and encourage people to join them on the journey. A leader will bring out the best in those around them, and lift them higher than they thought possible.

A successful team needs a balance of skilled management and strong leadership.

Ideally, a well-rounded manager who leads by example and inspires their team to deliver exceptional results, and passionate team members who lead from within. Leadership is about self and team awareness, relationships and providing strong direction. Management is about finding the best way to get there, and setting the process in motion.

You can always develop and improve both leadership and management skills.

You can click here to visit the Crampton Consulting Group website

You can click here to visit the VetAnswers website

"Would you write me a script, Doc?"

From an article by dvm360.com staff

What would you do if pet owners could buy the majority of their pet medications at their local human drug store? New data shows 6 strategies your veterinary colleagues think they'd use to respond.

Clearly there has been lots (and lots) of talk about the best way to manage pet prescriptions. And the world is changing. When you walk into your local Walgreens, Costco, or CVS, you may now see promotions for pet products right next to the one for flu shots.

A recent study conducted by Brakke Consulting Inc. and Trone Brand Energy asked veterinarians what strategies they would use if pet owners could buy the majority of their pet medications outside of the veterinary clinic. Here's a peek at what percentage of your colleagues think they'd use each of these ideas to cope:

  • 75% would seek out more veterinary exclusive products
  • 65% would manage inventory more carefully
  • 61% would offer new services
  • 51% would offer generics and pass the savings onto clients
  • 40% would engage with an online pharmacy
  • 28% would create an online pharmacy for the clinic

Source: 2015 Pet Pharmaceutical Market Study conducted by Brakke Consulting Inc. and Trone Brand Energy and supported by an educational grant from several leading animal health companies.

You can click here to visit the DVM360.com website

You can click here to visit the Brakke Consulting website

What You Do on Weekends Influences Your Professional Performance

From an article by Gerald Hassell and published online in the LinkedIn Pulse website

What we do on weekends and during our time off helps contribute to how effective we are professionally. I know that’s true for me.

It took me many years to fully appreciate the link between my personal and professional energy and engagement. It’s taken many more years to find a decent balance.

And the answer for some of us is not as simple as “get more sleep” or “take more downtime.”

For me, the solution is counterintuitive. It centers on structuring in free time more, but different kinds of work:

Activities that help actively clear my mind.

On Saturday mornings, I box. I originally took up the sport for exercise. That’s only a small part of what I get out of it. Sparring with a partner or hitting a heavy bag is a great way to constructively download my stress and emotions from the week. I leave the gym with my head much clearer, ready to focus on my family and friends.

Boxing is also a great time to think about work hurdles awaiting me. I’m free of distractions and feel better equipped to conquer my challenges than I might be if thinking about them while at rest. Instead of feeling stressed, I feel pumped! I come up with new ideas and solutions, and that makes me feel more prepared for the coming week.

It doesn’t have to be boxing. It can be walking your dog, playing with your kids or taking a run. But be in the moment.

Activities that impact my community.

There are opportunities in every community to get involved. One organization that my family supports addresses the needs of new immigrant families in our town. My involvement simultaneously allows me to divert my energies in a much-needed way while allowing me to impact the world in way distinct from my day job. It makes my life both more manageable and more rewarding. I get to see the people we have helped go on to build successful enterprises and strong, stable families.•

Activities that redirect my mental energy.

The boards on which I serve take up time – meetings to attend, materials to read, decisions to think through. Instead of making me feel overwhelmed, those demands act as enforced breaks. They momentarily absorb me. Those distractions are critical to maintaining peak resilience. They also expose me to new ways of thinking and operating that I can bring back to my day job.

These activities reinvigorate me for the office. And they deepen my enjoyment of personal pursuits.

We should stop viewing our personal and professional lives separately – it’s the right integration of the two that leads to more success and happiness in both areas.

You can click here to visit the LinkedIn Pulse website