Blogs

Facing Disruptors Head On

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I’m a few weeks back from the VHMA’s annual Strategic Planning Meeting. For three long, but productive days, the leadership team reviewed and discussed industry, education and association trends, and reviewed and updated the VHMA’s Strategic Plan. We focused quite a bit on disruptors, the forces that have the potential to change the way we do business. We discussed over 45 of them and among those mentioned were nichification, fast data, microlearning, generational differences, declining trust, and work redefined. While disruptors alter business operations and trigger changes in many areas of society, they also create opportunities for innovation, whether ...
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The VHMA is pleased to announce the launch of our 2019 Compensation and Benefits Survey. As we have done in past years, the survey is broken into three sections: Associate DVM, Veterinary Managers and Support Staff.  VHMA’s Management Job Descriptions  are provided so that you can appropriately complete the manager portions of the surveys. Please be sure to complete each section of the survey. Below you will find each of the survey links for your use. PDF Forms:   Associate DVM Veterinary Managers Support Staff Online Survey Links:   Associate DVM Veterinary Managers Support Staff All responses are confidential, ...
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The Nominating Committee of the Certified Veterinary Practice Manager (CVPM) Board presents the following Slate of Nominees for the Offices of the Board of Directors for the 2019-2021 term. CHAIR:  Susie Crockett, CVPM (Indianapolis, IN) CO-CHAIR:  Mary Beth Soto, CVPM (Flower Mount, TX) TREASURER:  Stephanie Albanese, CVPM (Mt. Pleasant, SC) SECRETARY:  Melissa Tompkins, BS, CVPM (Long Beach, CA) DIRECTORS:  Everette W. Bannister III, DVM, CVPM (Milton, GA) and Janine Kakoyannis, CVPM (San Diego, CA) An official proxy ballot will be electronically mailed to each member eligible to vote. The results will be presented to the membership at the annual ...
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The Nominating Committee of the Veterinary Hospital Managers Association, Inc. presents the following Slate of Nominees for the Offices of the Board of Directors for the 2019-2021 term. PRESIDENT:  Michelle Gonzales, CVPM (Tempe, AZ) VICE PRESIDENT:  Jessica Speas, CVPM, SPHR-CA, SHRM-SCP (La Crescenta, CA) SECRETARY:  Leslie Boudreau, BASVT, RVTg, CVPM, PHR, PHRca (Huntington Beach, CA)  TREASURER:  Scott Zimmerman, BFA, CVPM (Decatur, GA) DIRECTORS: Karli Carter, CVPM (Payson, UT) Kim Drummond, BSN, CVPM (Seattle, WA) Elizabeth Fritzler, DVM, CVPM (Seattle, WA) Joanne Graham, CVPM, SHRM-CP (Nashville, TN) Tiffany Killion-Consalvo, CVPM (Gilbertsville, ...
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The Veterinary Hospital Managers Association (VHMA) is pleased to announce that 27 veterinary management professionals earned the  Certified Veterinary Practice Manager (CVPM)  credential in April 2019. The VHMA’s CVPM credential, which is voluntary, is recognized as the sign of professional achievement and excellence and is awarded to those who demonstrate the knowledge and experience necessary to successfully manage the ever-changing operations of today's veterinary practices. The class of April 2019 includes: Alicia Artman Kathy Bell Rebecca A. Bunker Patti Christie Emily Colyer Debra Downs Karin Fary Krista Fuld Paul (Chris) Fuson ...
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Practice Purchasing

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Many factors are essential to the practice of quality medicine and surgery including having an appropriate range of high-quality equipment for both diagnostics and treatment and the right medications, supplies, and food to use in-house or send home with clients. The process for purchasing and replenishing these items varies from practice to practice, and May’s Monthly Management Survey asks about that process. No surprise, the practice owner (typically a veterinarian) makes the final decision in 75% of the purchases of medical equipment and about 55%-60% of computer hardware and software purchases. This makes sense due to the higher cost of equipment and ...
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Recognizing Your Hard Work

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Graduation season is upon us. I am sure that most of us have or are planning to attend some type of graduation or award ceremony this year. I know that I feel so much respect and admiration for those being recognized for their hard work. As manager’s our efforts often go unnoticed and our teams are generally unaware of the crisis averted due to our work behind the scenes. For us, the satisfaction from a job well done is enough. Well, it doesn’t have to be! We are currently accepting applications for the dvm360/VHMA Practice Manager of the Year (PMOY). This incredibly prestigious award is in its fifth year as one of the industry’s few opportunities to highlight ...
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Preventive pet healthcare can have a significant positive impact on the health and well-being of pets. While there is strong buy in among veterinary professionals and many pet owners are on board, we’ve all encountered clients who are skeptical, uninterested or opposed to the processes and procedures to increase the emphasis on preventive care. Forward booking makes sense and ensures that patients are on track to receive regular prophylactic care. But for the commitment-shy or those who don’t like to look too far into the future, forward booking can be a tough sell. As most of you know, forward booking is the process of booking ALL patients’ next appointments ...
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You could be the next  dvm360/VHMA Practice Manager of the Year . All it takes is a short survey, a few thoughtful responses ... and, yes, a willingness to fight past your natural humility and tell us what you've done to make happy team members, to grow revenue and to create a healing environment in your veterinary practice. dvm360.com and the Veterinary Hospital Managers Association (VHMA) are devoted to helping veterinary practice managers grow, blossom and thrive in your careers. We know you are the backbone of financially healthy, well-led and inspirational veterinary hospitals. You help guide hospitals through troubled times. You put smiles on ...
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Animal Health Digest  (AHD) and the Veterinary Hospital Managers Association (VMHA) are now collaborating to provide VHMA members and constituents with AHD content. Beginning May 1, VHMA members will have free access to the weekly  AHD Bulletin  through VHMA’s Facebook posts. Additionally, VHMA leadership will select specific AHD posts that will be included in the monthly VHMA newsletter. According to VHMA Executive Director Christine Shupe,  “Access to AHD aggregated content will allow VHMA to increase the routine information, management trend focused content, and important industry news that the association offers its members.” “Hospital managers are ...
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Telehealth

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Telemedicine is a hot topic right now and has generated a lot of controversy over whether it should be part of how veterinary medicine is practiced. Some of this controversy is due to confusion over what all the “tele-terms” really mean; however, some of the controversy is also over real issues related to whether pets can be appropriately diagnosed and treated using some of these modalities. Telehealth, the umbrella term, is defined as follows: “all uses of technology to deliver health information, education, or care remotely.” Telehealth can include both services that require a VCPR (veterinary-client-patient relationship) and those that don’t. The ...
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This month, millions of people observed Alcohol Awareness Month, Autism Awareness Month, Donate Life Month, Foot Health Awareness Month, Humor Month and a host of other observances to raise awareness about conditions and issues. In addition to month long commemorations, specific weeks and days focused on other illnesses and disorders. It has become commonplace to pass a billboard, open a publication or click on a website and discover a new issue in the spotlight. Awareness campaigns are designed to reach a broad audience and dispel ignorance and deepen understanding. Do they work? Unfortunately, hard scientific evidence about the impact of awareness efforts ...
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Our time is the most valuable commodity we have. Freely giving of that time for a greater purpose without expectation of something in return is the most precious gift we can offer. For those who give this gift so willingly to our Association: Thank You! The VHMA was built on the shoulders of people just like you, selfless professionals who saw something greater in our potential. While we have so many opportunities for members to contribute and volunteer, serving on the VHMA Board of Directors requires the most time and effort. While this may seem intimidating at first, I assure you the rewards far outweigh the costs. To those members who raised their hands ...
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Spotlighting Our Members

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2019 is the Year of the Member and VHMA is shining the spotlight on our colleagues and asking them to share both their professional and personal stories. The profiles highlight the depth of experience and expertise our members bring to the association and provide insights into what makes each of them unique. The VHMA supports its members in many ways, one of which is to foster relationships. These profiles may help to expand connections and build rapport with other management professionals. This month I am submitting my member profile in lieu of a president’s letter in the hope that you will get to know another side of me. I invite you to read the profile ...
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In the veterinary industry---more so than other medical fields---practices maintain large amounts of inventory. Delivering quality veterinary care requires practices to respond to a vast array of need and manage inventory for the laboratory, surgery, OTC sales, preventive care, food sales, ancillary services, and the veterinary pharmacy. Not surprisingly, inventory costs account for the second largest expense category. When inventory management is treated as an ordering and stocking task, practices are doing a disservice to the bottom. To have a positive impact on profitability and practice value, inventory management must be dealt with for what it is---a sophisticated ...
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Fee Changes in 2019

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Each year the VHMA asks practices about fee increases for the year; either those planned or already implemented. As with past years, the majority of the 180 practices participating in this survey, 53%, said yes to the question:  “Have you or will you raise your professional service fees in 2019?”  Twenty-seven percent in 2019, said they would be increasing fees on only non-shopped services compared to 2018. When asked the average amount of increase for shopped services responses were fairly spread out amongst the categories with about 41% of the hospitals saying the average increase on shopped services would be 3% and a surprising 32% increasing shopped fees ...
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Both professional and personal growth is highly dependent on a commitment to ongoing learning. Embracing new educational experiences can help advance knowledge and skills. For many of us, carving out time in our packed and hectic schedules to pursue these educational opportunities can be challenging, but certificate programs, which require a short term investment of time but target and build specific skills and expertise can supplement industry knowledge and experience. Today, information, research, and innovations are proceeding at a faster pace than in the past. Materials that were stressed in a higher education curriculum ten years ago may no longer be ...
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As our practice teams help to drive brand value and recognition in our hospitals every day, they also play an active role in the client relationship. Nevertheless, consumers make choices and decisions that may make or break their relationship with your business on far more than the services and products offered. Driven by increasing public demand for transparency coupled with widespread instant access to information has provided a fertile ground for the growth of social movements with a potentially significant impact on businesses. Consider speaking with your employees about these potential circumstances, revisit your organization's code of conduct (dependent ...
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Team Building Activity

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Team Building Activity     As a manager I am constantly looking for team building activities that our staff will have an impact.  Over the last couple of years we had done some enjoyable staff events but none that really helped them work together as a team in a competitive environment, and my staff thrives on competition.  This idea evolved from the idea of doing a scavenger hunt.  We just wanted something a little more challenging and we have several staff members who follow the show The Amazing Race.  Warning:  Planning this does takes a lot of time and I did a majority of the work at home since it was a surprise.                We told the staff ...
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Greetings VHMA, According to the groundhog, we are due for an early spring this year. I know for many of you it couldn’t be more welcome. We are already enjoying spring like temperatures here in Florida and I don’t envy those dealing with the polar vortex and insanely cold temperatures. While we were enjoying our warm weather here in the Sunshine State, we experienced an unenviable situation at our practice. It was about 10 p.m. when a young woman and her mother came in to our 24-hour emergency service. They were quite upset as their pet had been vomiting for some time. Unfortunately, our team was attending to two other critical patients and there was ...
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