Author Archives: Pamela Stevenson

Effective Team Training Embraces Differences

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Many veterinary practices, like most small businesses, do not have a human resources (HR) department, and veterinarians and managers often overlook training while focusing on hiring issues that appear more pressing. An effective training program is an essential component of a successful practice and can help make the most of the existing team when executed […]

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Feeling Stuck With Heartworm Prevention?

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Ready to create a heartworm prevention program that works for everyone? Use these checklists to get your, err, foot in the door and move clients to get on board with heartworm prevention. You can use some—or all—of the ideas below to craft a plan that works for you, your team and your clients. To read more […]

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How to Set Practice Service Fees

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The better the veterinary team knows the practice’s fees, the easier it is to present them to clients with confidence and without anxiety. Following is a brief journey into the methods and mechanics of setting veterinary service fees. Opinions vary regarding the best way to evaluate and set fees, but in the author’s experience, the […]

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Should Your Practice Have an Online Pharmacy?

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Clients today are trying harder than ever to save money, and ordering veterinary drugs online rather than through human pharmacies has increased in popularity. Pharmacy income is a significant component of overall practice health; thus, meeting clients’ evolving demands by developing your own online pharmacy service should be seriously considered. To read more of this […]

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Should I Fire My Veterinary Team Bullies?

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When teams work well, things seem to go brilliantly. But what about when they don’t? In Should I Fire My Veterinary Team Bullies on DVM360.com, Pam answers a reader question on how to deal with team bullies.

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Ways To Improve Patient Care

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In these three posts on patient care on DVM360.com, Pam helps explain how you can put your best food forward: 5 Ways To Improve Patient Care (tips on enhancing your patient’s wellbeing) What’s Your Role? (no matter what your job title) Build Better Puppy And Kitten Kits (and what to include inside!)  

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How To Prevent Hypothermia; How To Screen Out Parasites

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When you have a pet, there are many things you need to treat and look out for. In two different articles on DVM360.com, Pam gives advice on How to Prevent Hypothermia in pets and how to Screen Out Parasites when it comes to veterinary clients.

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Practice Management Overhaul In Four Parts

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Pam worked with Veterinary Economics on a 4-part practice overhaul series called Practice Management Overhaul, and here are the links from DVM360.com: Practice Management Overhaul: Your Sneak Peek Announcing The Practice Management Overhaul Winners Practice Management Overhaul Forms Overhaul Outcome: Finding The Tools For Success  

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Cut Excuses To The Core; Collect On Past Due Accounts

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Dealing with patients can be extremely rewarding, but it can also present some challenges, too. In Cut Excuses To The Core, Pam offers advice on how to work with clients who are less than forthcoming with the real reason behind their words. In A Dun Deal: Collect On Past Due Accounts, Pam gives tips on […]

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5 Ways To Work Smarter; How To Conduct A Time Study

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Pam gives helpful tips on how to manage inventory, update patient records, avoid missed charges, and streamline discharge appointments in 5 Ways To Work Smarter on DVM360. Along with working smart, working efficiently is important too. In How To Conduct A Time Study, Pam shares 5 ideas that will help you analyze your practice’s outpatient […]

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One Appointment, Three Pets; How To Overcome 4 Common Client Excuses

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Sometimes patients make appointments for one pet, then bring the rest of their pets along with. When this happens, what do you do? In this One Appointment, Three Pets, Pam answers this question. And what do you do with common client excuses? In How To Overcome 4 Common Client Excuses, Pam helps answer questions from […]

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Minimizing Team Conflict

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This article from Veterinary Team Brief looks at what causes conflict, along with how to prevent conflict and keep it to a minimum. It also provides six steps you can take towards conflict prevention. To view the article in full, you can either read it on Veterinary Team Brief* or download the PDF version.   […]

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Turn Up The Dial On Client Education

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When I discuss client education topics, I feel like clients are tuning me out. How can I make them listen? Engage clients with questions like, “How did you choose Sparky?” says Pamela Stevenson, CVPM, a consultant with Veterinary Results Management in Durham, N.C. Find out what they know about pet care and their past pet […]

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Sample Script: Offer Smooth Discharge Visits

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Pam Stevenson, CVPM, a consultant with Veterinary Results Management in Durham, N.C., offers this script for efficient discharge appointments: You: Hello, Ms. Worrysome. I see you’re here to pick up Fluffy after her ovariohysterectomy. Let’s review Fluffy’s experience while she was in our care. (Summarize Fluffy’s stay at your practice.) Now, let’s discuss how to […]

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Make A Punctuality Pact With Team Members

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My employees are always late to work. How can I stop this? Everyone is occasionally late for one reason or another, but there’s only one cause when it comes to chronic tardiness, says Pam Stevenson, CVPM, owner of Veterinary Results Management in Durham, N.C. “It’s a choice,” she says. And one that doesn’t honor employees’ […]

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Pet Health Insurance – Is It Worthwhile?

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I’ve been reading quite a bit about shopping for different options regarding saving money on veterinary care. A common comment is that pet health insurance is not a good value for the cost and that, “putting money away in a designated savings account every month is probably a more thrifty way to take care of health costs […]

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Giving Thanks For Military Dogs

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This Christmas, please keep in mind both the people and the dogs that are serving our country all around the world. This photo was taken on Christmas Day at the Vietnam Veterans Living Memorial in Durham, North Carolina, which is on a beautiful neighborhood trail here in town. This memorial is for Bernie, a military […]

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Microchips Are NOT The Only Answer

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A microchip alone may not save your pet’s life. A strong statement? Yes, as ALL PETS NEED TO BE MICROCHIPPED (dogs, cats, birds, etc.). But many pets do not wear identification tags because their parents feel confident a microchip is enough. However, this is NOT enough; your pets also need an identification tag or leg band […]

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How To Have A Feline-Friendly Practice

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My newest article for Veterinary Team Brief* is out, and is on how to have a feline-friendly practice! Share what you are up to in making your practices feline friendly!   *In order to read the article you need to have a Veterinary Team Brief account, which is completely free (sign up here) and gets […]

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The Challenge Of Providing Multigenerational Benefits In Veterinary Practices

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My newest article for Patterson Veterinary Insight* is now online! If you’re reading this via a mobile device, click here to read the piece. If you’re reading this via a desktop or laptop, either click on the photo above or click here to read it (pages 13-14). *Pamela Stevenson, The Challenge of Providing Multigenerational Benefits […]

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1 Dead Dog, 2 People Hit By An SUV – All Due To The Lack Of A Leash

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A tragic story unfolded in Durham, NC last week, resulting in one dead dog and two people mowed down by an illegal driver- all due to a lack of a leash. I am incredibly saddened and incensed that an unleashed and unsupervised dog innocently created such a terrible series of events with an as-yet-unknown outcome […]

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Veterinary Practice Managers

What Are the Different Types of Managers? Confusion surrounds this question. What is the difference between an office manager, a practice manager and a hospital administrator? The Veterinary Hospital Managers Association guidelines for the general duties of each position are listed below. These basic duties are an excellent tool to develop a program that fits […]

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So You Need A New Health Care Team Member

How many times do we knowingly or unwittingly hire the wrong person for our team? Why does this happen? How can we avoid making the same mistake over and over again? One key to a successful hire is to have a clear definition of what your hospital expects from its health care team. Each team member […]

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Stop Judging Clients

Some clients are difficult, but labeling them as such and guessing who will comply doesn’t help anyone, especially pets. Take a gavel to judgmental thinking and you’ll soon be letting clients—even the “bad” ones—off for good behavior. He approaches the front desk with a groan. Slowly bending down to pick up his toy poodle, the […]

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When Should You Act As The Jury?

Never. Because, as this real-life example illustrates, most judgments don’t involve open-and-shut cases. Every practice has one—or two, or three, or four: A client who just doesn’t get it. This type of pet owner declines recommendations for flea and tick preventives because the dog only goes outside to go to the bathroom. Judging clients like […]

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Payment Procrastinators

Q. What do you do when clients say at checkout they want to pay later? First, establish, communicate, and enforce protocol for collecting payment for services and products, says Pam Stevenson, CVPM, a consultant with Veterinary Results Management in Durham, N.C. Then consider the situation. Is this a new client? Has she visited at least […]

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The Money’s Where The Mouth Is

Q Should I receive compensation or bonuses for the dental procedures I’m specially trained to perform? “Compensation is typically based on a combination of training, performance, and credentials,” says Pamela Stevenson, CVPM, a consultant with Veterinary Results Management in Durham, N.C. So it’s reasonable for a team member who holds a specialty in dentistry and […]

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Great Expectations

Q. In the past, I occasionally gave discounts to friends and family. Now they expect the same generosity every time they visit. What do I do? Some veterinary practices do offer their team members a discount on veterinary products and services. “And it’s wonderful when we can extend that discount to family and friends,” says […]

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One Appointment, Three Pets

Q: Clients sometimes schedule an appointment for one pet and show up with several. What should we do? “It depends,” says Karen Sabatini, a Firstline Editorial Advisory Board member and a receptionist at Ardmore Animal Hospital in Ardmore, Pa. “We usually handle these clients as we would drop-ins. Unless it’s an emergency, we try to schedule an […]

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I’m Sick Of Overtime!

Q. No one follows our time schedules—I regularly work at least 30 minutes after my shift was supposed to end. Is this fair? “Rather than asking, ‘Is this fair?’ I recommend tracking the reason your shift isn’t ending on time for 30 days,” says Pamela Stevenson, CVPM, a practice management consultant who owns Veterinary Results […]

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Feeling Underappreciated

Q. The doctor doesn’t recognize or appreciate me. How can I let her know everything I do? “You need to show the doctor results,” says Pamela Stevenson, CVPM, a practice management consultant who owns Veterinary Results Management Inc. in Durham, N.C. “For example, perhaps you reorganized the pharmacy to make it easier to locate inventory. […]

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