Break check

May 24, 2017
Brendan Howard, Business Channel Director

Brendan Howard oversees veterinary business, practice management and life-balance content for, dvm360 magazine, Firstline and Vetted, and plans the Practice Management track at all three Fetch dvm360 conferences.Brendan has proudly served under the Veterinary Economics and dvm360 banners for more than 10 years. Before that, he worked as a journalist, writer and editor at Entrepreneur magazine and a top filmed entertainment magazine in Southern California. Brendan received a Masters in English Literature from University of California, Riverside, in 1999.

You can't stop your veterinary practice systems, your equipment, your team or even yourself from breaking sometimes. CVC educator Dave Nicol says its how you plan for and deal with the breakages that makes all the difference.

JPA/Shutterstock.comIn a session at CVC Virginia Beach titled "3 years, 3 continents, $1 million earned: Lessons learned from an extraordinary journey," educator Dave Nicol, BVMS, Cert. Mgmt. MRCVS, tackled the topics of paralyzing fear (in people), hiring and keeping great team members and the power of positioning a practice with digital marketing.

But first, Dr. Nicol shared a few tips with attendees about breakages-how to prevent them and how to deal with them when they occur (because they will):

"If you have a system in place, you need a way to monitor it."

Dr. Nicol says every practice owner, manager and veterinary team member responsible for systems should ask themselves which ones are crucial to the business model. In other words, which systems, if they were to fail, would cause the practice to fail? Write them down and build a protocol to make sure these systems are working every day, every week or every month-whatever's necessary.

"When it comes to equipment, two is one, and one is none."

If a particular piece of equipment at your practice broke, would your practice's communication or services grind to a halt? Then make sure you have a spare, says Dr. Nicol.

"People can break. It's possible to bounce back, but it's a question of mindset."

Pushing people past 40-hour work weeks over and over without vacation or personal time leads to an unhealthy work environment for you and your team. Don't pound on yourself or your team just because that's how you've always done it, Dr. Nicol says. Watch for that pneumonia-but-not-really-pneumonia cough. You know, that look of lethargy? That gentle and persistent back-of-the-throat cough that never goes away but indicates someone is run down and on the edge of falling apart? Don't ignore it. 

Inspired to avoid and better manage breakages in your hospital? Check out the related links below and see Dr. Nicol at CVC near you.