Annual Conference - 2013 Program Highlights
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The Program Committee is seeking your assistance with the educational program selections to be presented at the upcoming 2013 Annual Conference. Based on previous program evaluations, the Program Committee has compiled a short list of potential general sessions for your review. We typically offer three general sessions, with a few targeted breakout sessions.

Please provide an answer for each item. Rank your answers 1 to 8 (1 being least important and 8 being most important) in the VHMA Educational Needs Assessment Survey.


2013 Annual Conference Program Proposals:

Progressive Discipline
Progressive discipline is critical in changing poor performers, and this course focuses on how to perform progressive discipline properly, and fairly. Attendees will learn the steps needed to address unacceptable performance issues within your practice. If the employees’ performance is not improving, learn how to terminate an employee properly, professionally, and most importanly legally. 

Creating a Psychologically Healthy Workplace
Conflict, dysfunction, stress and employee dissatisfaction in our industry may be pervasive, but there are realistic, doable policies you can implement to stop these debilitating phenomena from swallowing your practice’s potential. Attendees will learn to create and implement communication policies and tools, work schedules, benefit and incentive programs, meeting agendas and hiring and training processes that reduce intra-office conflict, improve employee retention and increase productivity.

Workplace Communication and Behavioral Styles Training
DiSC personality testing provides a non-judgmental language for exploring workplace
behaviors. DiSC can help employees at all levels: understand their own behavior, learn how and when to adapt their behavior, improve communication, promote appreciation of differences, enhance individual and team performance, reduce conflict, create and maintain client relationships, and manage difficult customer service situations. Attendees will be asked to participate in a pre-event profile survey; the final report will be available to the attendee and will be used to demonstrate the power of the tool.

Self-Audit: Creating a Personal Mindset to Drive Change
As managers you spend a large portion of your time catering to the personalities and needs of your team members. Rarely, if ever, do managers stop to take the time to evaluate their own personal and professional wants, and more importantly how your own passions, interests, strengths and values contribute to the success of your work performance and ultimately the success of the business. With a review of the critical competencies required for the job, and tools that help you identify your own personal needs and wants this program will help you focus on the positive outcomes and stay relevant, the most critical ability going forward.

Daytime Drama
Human Resources represent 25%+ of managers’ day-to-day job responsibilities. Managing people is always dramatic even with the best policies in place. This program will provide both a chance to laugh at the typical drama found in the veterinary practice setting while also providing real answers on how to manage common issues including cliques, gossip, nay-sayers, bullying, etc.

Modern-day Management Myths
The business of providing a professional service is changing at a rapid pace and the veterinary industry is not immune to changing expectations. Managers are struggling to define their new center, the “new normal.” This program will address which management aspects have remained important and which have fallen by the way-side.

Monitoring Practice Profitability
This program will present tools and concepts to help managers estimate their "true profitability," regardless of their legal form of organization. Knowing how a practice's profitability compares with others is only the first step: the real challenge is to maintain the delivery of quality medicine, provide excellent client service, and also give the owners a reasonable return on their investment. Managers play an important role in this process; this workshop will focus on aspects of practice valuation and specific areas that provide attendees with a starting point to make changes for the improved profitability and a way to monitor the progress.

Practice Finances – New Concepts for Old Problems

This program will cover three critical areas of practice management that need a fresh approach. #1. Revenue Based Inventory Control – the cost of goods is one of the most challenging and over-expensed areas in veterinary practice operations. This session links control of the cost of goods expense with the volatility of revenue, and provides an easy to adapt system to determine 'order-up' points and 're-order' points for all consumables. #2. Informed Capital Spending - whether capital spending decisions are for facility additions/improvements, equipment, vehicles, or other capital expenditures, decision makers should pro-actively conduct a thorough analysis of projected financial and time frame returns to facilitate sound decision making. In hindsight, a decision audit function should also be performed to reconcile effective decision making. This session reviews both the capital spending calculations and considerations, and demonstrates a decision audit function. #3. Pricing models - veterinary hospitals have a number of potential pricing models to choose from when setting fees. Effective pricing should not only cover costs, but provide a profit margin and return for the owners. This session illustrates the various pricing models and focuses on the newest concept, margin based pricing and how it should be applied.


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