Growing Preventative Service Compliance

Growing Preventative Service Compliance

General Practices that choose to compete on selection and price haven’t fully considered the sustainability of their actions. Small businesses will always be outmuscled by big box stores and the Internet in the fight to provide consumers a variety of choices at the lowest affordable prices. A much more competitive approach would be to play to our strengths. As a culture, veterinary professionals identify with pet owners and pets alike. This empathetic perspective gives us a chance to hone a cycle of service that is both efficient and responsive to individual client/patient need, and that identifies us as understanding the familial ties owners have to their pets. Unlike big box stores that set clients loose in warehouse-sized buildings to search for the cheapest health care product, we choose to identify specific need and match it to our most helpful, affordable preventative service. These services tend to be proprietary to our profession and complementary to the remaining services (annual exam and vaccines) that our clients are already in the habit of purchasing. In this way we maintain our unique relevance in the marketplace, remain competitive, and sustain our growth.  

The 2012 AVMA pet demographic report confirmed that there is a rising trend in our country to identify pets as part of the family. As veterinary professionals all of us have seen evidence of this in the clients who’ve spent thousands of dollars to save their pets or mitigate their suffering.   But how much more valuable would it be for us and for our clients to intervene at the earliest possible stage of disease in their pet? As we indicated before, intervening after the patient becomes ill is emotionally and financially draining for the client, painful and debilitating for the pet, and less profitable for the veterinary practitioner.

Alternatively, screening early keeps health care affordable for clients, keeps pet’s feeling and living better, and provides practices a higher margin.   Another advantage of a Veterinary Preventative Service Model is the chance for veterinary professionals to return to a more agreeable balance between personal time and work. Under the existing practice model of seeing whatever the telephone says we should see, whenever it says we should see it; our teams are forced to stay later and later each day. They burnout, turnover and, because the caseload leaves us desperately short on staff, we replace them with new hires too rashly. Because we’re short of time, we train these additions inadequately. This puts an additional burden on our remaining team members who in turn burnout, turnover and so continues our practice’s downward cycle.  

A Preventative Service Model allows us to focus our marketing efforts on a superior client base, gives specificity to our message to those clients, hones a cycle of service that focuses on a more manageable amount of services, and limits the amount of surprises in our appointment scheduler. Team members can start and finish their day more in control of their schedule, be better prepared for their case load of the day, better monitor their patient base, and have time to take breaks and to eat responsibly.   It’s not a model of being too soft or working too leisurely. On the contrary, it’s a model that gives us the time we need to be complete, to recharge our bodies more completely, to follow through, to bond with our clients, to be expert, and to be healthier. It’s a model that may be missing a lot of the running around that exists under the current way of doing things, but it’s a model that makes fewer mistakes, makes more profit, and is ultimately more complete with patient and client care.

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Diagnostic Preventative Services