Category Archives: First Line

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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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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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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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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