Dear Practice Manager...

June 10, 2016

Straight from the pros: three quick tips to go from novice to expert fast.

We promise to avoid giving advice on love, parenting and roommates, but we do think you should know these three quick tips for success and happiness in managing your practice. 

1. Take care of your patients 

We really, reall recommend trying these steps to establish and manage your standards for patient care (cause, ya know, everyone loves animals but we've all gotta be on the same page in order to make a difference in their lives and health!): 

Start by creating and maintaining clear and high standards of care that all employees are aware of and agree to. Then communicate standards to all team members. Remember, your goal is to always put the patient first. 

Other pro tips: 

> Become AAHA accredited

> Treat every patient as a member of the family 

> Develop a good relationship with the practice's veterinarian so that you can more effectively provide constructive feedback if needed

2. Take care of your clients 

Now we'll let you in on the secret to effective client care: 

You should be able to make great client care your goal at all times. Listen carefully to your clients' concerns and comments in order to help them make the best decision for their particular situation. 

3. Take care of your team 

This means you delegate and guide, communicate, are open and respectful. And while you're at it, it's always wise to value employees' opinions, both personally and professionally. Be very careful when hiring employees-- assess their qualifications carefully, value the strengths that each can bring to the table and lead by example. 

We know that's a lot to take in, but start with the small steps and build on your success. 

And there you have it! From those who know: free advice to put novice managers on the fast track to success. 

Christine Shupe, CAE, is the executive director of the Veterinary Hospital Managers Association. The association is dedicated to serving professionals in veterinary management through education, certification and networking.