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The Veterinary Hospital Managers Association (VHMA), an association dedicated to enhancing and supporting veterinary management professionals through education, certification, resources, and networking, recently welcomed Silver Business Alliance Partner IT Guru, LLC , a technology company that provides IT support to the veterinary industry. The VHMA Business Alliance Partner (BAP) Program is open to qualifying companies offering products and services that address the professional business needs of today’s veterinary practices. “ VHMA is happy to have IT Guru sign on as a BAP. The company’s exclusive focus on providing IT support ...
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April 2020’s survey explored the initial impact of COVID-19 on veterinary practices as well as the changes practices were making to cope with the pandemic.  In May’s survey , some of the same questions were asked to measure the difference a month had made and also delved into some new topics.   This month’s survey explores some of the change’s practices are seeing now, two months after the last survey, and about four months after the first impact of the pandemic was seen in veterinary practices. Overall, the vast majority of practices responding report that both caseload and revenue are higher than usual for this time of year. Almost ...
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Managing in the time of a pandemic presents challenges like none we have seen before. Some states, like Arizona where I live, thought the worst had passed. As rates of COVID-19 increase, state officials are grappling with shutting businesses again. Just as many of us thought the country was inching toward normal; we are being stopped in our tracks, reassessing our actions, and possibly stepping back.  Every decision we make today is made under a cloud of uncertainty, as we try to guess what state the country will be in months from now. The decision to cancel VHMA’s 2020 in-person Annual Meeting & Conference and switch to an online platform, ...
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As the number of people testing positive for COVID-19 continues to rise, businesses are doing their best to stay afloat, addressing the changes brought on by the pandemic and being sensitive to conditions and challenges clients may be facing as a result of these changes. The challenge for owners and managers is how to engage effectively and empathetically with clients during this new normal. Veterinary practices and staff walk a fine line as they promote the health and wellbeing of their patients while being sensitive to the special circumstances their clients may be experiencing. In light of these extenuating circumstances, practices may consider ...
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Checks and Balances

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While the term is commonly used in the context of government, checks and balances are implemented in various procedures in any workplace to reduce mistakes and prevent unwarranted actions. Without these safeguards, a business leaves itself open to theft of money and supplies. Checks and balances can be implemented for almost any function performed at a veterinary clinic, from basic actions to more sophisticated procedures. A system of checks and balances is designed to verify that operations are done correctly and thoroughly and ensures that all who are involved are held accountable. Veterinary managers have significant responsibility for ...
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The Veterinary Hospital Managers Association (VHMA), an association dedicated to enhancing and supporting veterinary management professionals through education, certification, resources, and networking, has announced Starpath Consulting LLC, as a Silver Business Alliance Partner. Starpath Consulting specializes in providing veterinary-focused human resources, strategic planning, and leadership support to create practice cultures that promote employee, patient, client, and business growth. Business Alliance Partners work with the association to ensure that quality professional services are available to veterinary practices, managers, and owners. ...
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The number of practices with an in-house online pharmacy has been increasing over the last ten years, but the pandemic has put a spotlight on the usage of this tool to serve clients better. Since COVID-19 hit the U.S. badly and pet owners started hunkering down at home in March, many clients have not wanted to leave their houses to run basic errands, and the interest in getting their pet’s food and medications delivered has increased. Obviously, it is better for practices if clients use the practice’s online pharmacy rather than an outside option. VHMA’s June Insiders' Insight survey asked managers how their practices have integrated online pharmacies ...
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The Veterinary Hospital Managers Association (VHMA), after careful consideration, announced today it will cancel its in-person 2020 Annual Meeting & Conference, scheduled for September 10-12, at Renaissance Orlando at SeaWorld, due to public health and safety concerns related to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. VHMA is working with scheduled speakers, sponsors, and industry partners to redesign the conference as a virtual event.   “After careful discussion of every aspect of the meeting and experience, VHMA has made the difficult decision to move the 2020 Annual Meeting & Expo to a virtual experience,” said VHMA Executive Director Christine Shupe, ...
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Numbers and statistics can be polarizing, regardless of your profession. To some people, numbers are pure joy. These are the folks who love to keep track of trends and developments, and when all information is collected, can’t wait to slice and dice the numbers and transform them into a compelling narrative. On the other end of the spectrum are those who approach numbers with a bit of apprehension. But if you are a practice manager interested in demonstrating your effectiveness and impact on the practice, numbers can be an effective tool for advocating for your position. Why data? To paraphrase an old nugget, “numbers speak louder than ...
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As we welcome more staff back to the office, this milestone has generated a range of emotions. For some, working in the office and interacting with coworkers and clients can be frightening and stressful. These feelings may be due to an  underlying medical condition that can increase the risk of  contracting COVID-19, concern that they may inadvertently pass the virus to a vulnerable or older family member residing in their household, worries that coworkers and clients will not be vigilant about adhering to prevention guidelines, or unease about moving forward too fast in the absence of a vaccine or a specific antiviral medicine to treat Coronavirus. These ...
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In five months, the world has changed dramatically. Today, face masks are de rigueur, handshakes are taboo, and “lean in” has been replaced with “maintain a distance of at least six feet.” We are now focused on adjusting our behaviors and business practices to prevent the spread of COVID-19, and businesses are rushing to adapt to the new normal and implement measures to remain viable. Many are expanding their social media and online presence. During the pandemic, we’ve been using the Internet more extensively and broadly than ever before. Need supplies? Order them online! Had it with home cooking? Order from a dinner delivery service! Wondering ...
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Last month’s Insiders’ Insight survey explored the initial impact of COVID-19 on veterinary practices as well as the changes practices were making to cope with the pandemic. This month’s survey asks some of the same questions to measure the difference a month has made and also delves into some new topics.    There was a definite shift in May with about 26% of practices reporting no decline in the number of patients seen, 50% reporting a decline between 1-20%, and just 24% reporting declines of 21% or more. By all reports, there is a great deal of variation between practices, some of it geographical. The improvement this month is likely due ...
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Dear Friends: The majority of states have eased Coronavirus restrictions and people are wrestling with mixed emotions. On one level there is hope that the country may be rebounding from Coronavirus, and that the economy is restarting. On another level, there is fear that the virus has not been contained and infections may increase as social distancing decreases. There is also uncertainty about how to best protect ourselves and our families, friends, staff, patients, and clients. Coronavirus has indefinitely changed the landscape in which we operate. Even the experts are divided on how this will play out. For now, the best we can do is to resolve to move ...
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If a tree falls in the forest and no one is around, does it make a sound? It’s a question that’s been debated for centuries and there is no definitive answer. If we revisit the questions and ask: “If a practice manager is accomplished and productive, but the owner is unaware of his/her impact on and contributions to the practice, will that manager feel supported and recognized? The simple answer is, in most cases, no, s/he will not! To guard against feeling underappreciated by owners and unmotivated to carry out their job responsibilities with pride and enthusiasm, managers should take inventory of how effectively they are advocating for themselves ...
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The Role of the Practice Manager in Managing Workplace Safety If you run a veterinary practice, regardless of size and number of employees, the practice is required to provide a safe and healthy workplace for employees and comply with Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) rules. OSHA: An Overview The Occupational Safety and Health Administration, or OSHA, was created by Congress in 1970 "to assure safe and healthful working conditions for working men and women by setting and enforcing standards and by providing training, outreach, education, and assistance." Most private-sector employers and employees are covered under ...
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We are operating in an environment that is demanding, uncertain, and frankly, disquieting. Struggling to maintain some semblance of “business as usual,” whether remotely or in the office, is a challenge. Although the coronavirus has upended life as we know it, we soldier on to care for our patients, clients, and staff. It is essential that during this time, employees feel comforted and equipped emotionally to weather the storm. Now more than ever, we must strive to maintain employee morale, address their fears and anxieties, and offer resources and assistance. What actions can managers take to ensure that staff remains emotionally and physically strong? I ...
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It has become abundantly clear that the implications of coronavirus will be significant, far-reaching, and uncertain. The pandemic has touched every state, traversed the globe, and strikes without regard to gender, race, socio-economic level, and age. In its wake are concerns and questions: When is it finally over? When will business return to ‘normal?’ Will the delivery of veterinary care look different? Unfortunately, we don’t have answers. Your VHMA membership, however, can offer you professional guidance and support during these unsettling times. VHMA members are motivated and committed to excellence, professional growth, and community. ...
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The COVID-19 pandemic has rapidly changed our world in a way that no one saw coming. Some of the changes will likely just be short-term, but others may change how veterinary medicine (and the world) operate in the long-run. No doubt, the longer the pandemic runs, the more permanently changed we will see our world. VHMA’s April 2020 Insiders’ Insights survey focused on understanding how veterinary practices are managing amid the pandemic. The survey looks at four groups—changes in practice operations, impact on the veterinary team, technology, and telehealth usage, and the impact of the pandemic on practice finances. Changes in Practice ...
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We are all struggling to live our lives under the new reality of Coronavirus (COVID-19). The situation is a dynamic one. At times, it seems to be running a step ahead of the experts as information about the virus evolves. The VHMA has been working hard to pull together resources, organize information, and provide opportunities to support our members during these difficult times. Summarized below is an overview of the efforts and actions the VHMA has taken in response to the crisis: The CVPM Board fully understands the magnitude of the global Coronavirus crisis and its implications. It has approved a number of accommodations to ensure that members do not ...
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The CVPM Board is grateful for the enthusiastic and generous support that our members provide to the CVPM program and the association. In times of crisis, change, and uncertainty, one thing remains constant: VHMA members are willing to do their best to ensure the profession, association, and industry thrives, and we thank you! The world has come face-to-face with an enemy that threatens the health and well-being of people, pets, as the country’s economic viability. The CVPM Board fully understands the magnitude of the global Coronavirus crisis and its implications. The Board strongly encourages members to prioritize the health, safety, and well being of their ...
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