March 2017

Prevention is Key!

Add Value to Your Resume
Did you know that we have an online certificate program focused on giving you the tools and resources you need to improve the overall quality of preventive healthcare that you provide to your patients? We do! The certificate program is free and can be completed at your own pace. During the online program, you will watch videos and use worksheets to help you learn to successfully communicate the value and benefit of preventive care to your clients. Click here to learn more.

Let us help YOU see more pets!

Prevent Heartworm
March roars in like a lion and slips out like a lamb. In this edition of the monthly practice newsletter, our focus is heartworm disease prevention.

Pet owners may not realize that their furry friends (both indoor and outdoor) are at risk for heartworm disease so make sure all of your patients are on the books for their annual preventive healthcare checkup! By doing this, you establish your veterinary practice team as the experts on ALL components of keeping their pets healthy and happy!

In every issue of PHP’s monthly practice newsletter, you will find ready-to-use Facebook posts, tweets and copy for your practice website or newsletter. You can take them “word for word” and use them to educate your clients about the importance of annual checkups for their pets.

Use the social media and website content in the next section to educate your clients about the critical importance of heartworm disease prevention and preventive healthcare.

Word for Word

Here are March’s Facebook posts, tweets and copy for your practice website that you can use “word for word.” They focus on the importance of heartworm disease prevention for your patients.

Copy and paste this month’s Facebook posts onto your own page.

Engage clients with this month’s tweets.

Use this month’s website copy online or in your practice newsletter.

Click here for print ad templates, digital banner ads, our public service announcement video and other useful tools your practice can utilize to promote preventive care.

Campaign In Action: Did you miss us at NAVC?

We have a new continuing education event, “We’re at a Tipping Point: Believe You Can Achieve” for 2017. Join award-winning speakers Karen E. Felsted, DVM, CPA, MS, CVPM, CVA and Karyn Gavzer, MBA, CVPM as they bring you comprehensive solutions and changes that you can implement immediately. Topics that will be covered include:
  • The need for forward booking
  • Reactivating inactive clients
  • Retaining current clients
  • Developing champions in your practice
Believe you can achieve
Check out the new case-based workshop focused on practical strategies that have demonstrated success in bringing in and holding onto the kind of clients you want. You don’t want to miss it! To register, visit WVC’s continuing education sessions.

Success Stories

Advancing Patient Care Through Team Commitment to Forward Booking

Alpine Animal Hospital
The Roaring Fork Valley provides some of the best fly fishing in Colorado, and the town of Carbondale – with its 6,500 residents located in the mountains 170 miles west of Denver – lies at its center. Resting in the magnificent shadow of 12,953-foot Mt. Sopris, Carbondale offers plenty of activity and enjoyment for tourists and residents alike.
Carbondale also provides the home to Alpine Animal Hospital, a thriving, AAHA-accredited mixed animal practice with five veterinarians and 12 staff members. Mary Fox, MBA, who characterizes Carbondale as “a fabulous town” and serves as Alpine‘s hospital administrator, recently shared her observations about successfully implementing forward booking into the protocols and culture of the hospital.

Q: How did your practice implement forward booking?
A: It was a process, and it took some time because part of it was spending time with the staff to figure out practice goals and values, and how we express them in a positive way. We quickly learned that if we talked about forward booking in isolation and didn’t attach it to preventive healthcare, the staff thought it seemed pushy. Once we got staff buy-in that they were acting in the best interest of the patients, they started to feel comfortable and confident talking about forward booking.

Q: What was the biggest barrier to implementation?
A: First, the staff did not want to be “pushy salespeople.” Second, communication in the practice needed improvement. The front desk often did not know what the next step was in the preventive healthcare process so we improved the communication between our receptionists and our exam room team. We now use the code “RTG” in our software system, which stands for “Ready To Go.” No patient can leave without that code, and next to the code the doctor indicates the next steps in the patient’s healthcare.

Q: How does forward booking tie into your patient reminder system?
A: We’re right in the middle of evaluating the process of how we want to remind our clients. We have a new communication platform, which starts with an email reminder, then goes to a text, then a call. Once the appointment is confirmed, the client doesn’t receive any other messages. Because we use all mediums (email, text, phone), a lot fewer cards go out, which saves us time and money. In the beginning, the staff was very tentative about asking for client email addresses. It’s taken about a year, but now they say to clients, “and your email address is...” without becoming apologetic.

What has also been important is for our staff to be unafraid of saying to the client what the patient needs. The best care for the pet should not be posed as a question, rather it’s “here’s what’s best for your pet.” You have to believe in providing the best care and then it’s natural to say, “let’s schedule that exam” instead of asking for permission.

Q: How good is the practice at forward booking?
A: 90% there! It took two years because our goal is to help our staff understand that we’re all in this together. It’s really a switch in practice culture, which will have a longer lasting effect than just dictating protocols to the staff.

Q: Any other advice for practices?
A: Have definite, purposeful goals that will bring your team together – Why are we here? What do we want our culture to be? Then, build it out and ask, “How do we accomplish this?” Sure enough, you circle back to where you started and the initial things that were difficult to implement, you either find they fit in or they don’t and you reject them. We are always trying to do things better.
Partners for Healthy Pets is dedicated to ensuring that pets receive the preventive healthcare they deserve through regular visits to a veterinarian. We are committed to working with you to enhance the health of your patients and your practice. Learn more about all the tools available to your practice in the Partners for Healthy Pets Resource Toolbox at www.partnersforhealthypets.org.
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