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Beating the client compliance blues


How do you create client compliance in the wake of Dr. Google and less disposable income? Give your advice to a veterinary practice facing the same problem.

Firstline magazine, dvm360.com and the Veterinary Hospital Managers Association (VHMA) each month solve tough problems for practice managers and team members in this "Tough Questions Answered by the VHMA" column. Join in by sharing your best advice, and then check out an answer later from a Certified Veterinary Practice Manager.

Q. I'm interested in taking on more management duties at the practice, but how do I initiate that conversation with the practice owner?

Click 'next' to see the answer.

Answering this month is Brenda Tassava, CVPM, CVJ, partner and practice consultant at Halow Tassava Consulting, based in New York City and Indianapolis.

Answer. Client compliance is an issue, which is often exacerbated by clients who fail to understand the importance of preventive care. Foregoing annual visits, immunizations and treatment can take a toll on pets. The challenge is to ensure that clients realize the importance of preventive care while helping them budget their veterinary bills.

As a practice consultant, I have worked with practices to introduce prepaid preventive healthcare plans.

Get staff invested in the plans by asking them to take a close look at what they do for their patients and what they would like to do. Because most staff members want to practice good medicine and not comprise patient health, they understand the value of prepaid plans.

Here are some tips for creating prepaid preventive healthcare plans at your practice:

1. Think about what should be included in the plan or plans. Try to keep is simple and applicable to most pets.

2. When pricing plans, be sure they make financial sense to both your patients and practice.

3. Offer a few levels so clients have a choice in the plan that works best for their needs.

4. Select a system for managing the plans that works best for your practice.

5. Before your practice travels down the road of wellness plans, make sure your clients are asking for these plans.

Marketing the plans is crucial to get the word out to clients, attract new clients, increase visits and let the doctors do more for patients. To create a buzz, consider using YouTube and blogs, although there are many other social media resources out there.

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