My plan for CE self-improvement

April 10, 2017
Bash Halow, LVT, CVPM

Bash Halow is a practice consultant and owner of Halow Consulting as well as a Certified Veterinary Practice Manager, a Licensed Veterinary Technician and (best of all for us) a regular Fetch dvm360 speaker.

Veterinarians can't turn a blind eye to business anymore. Let's finally put that annual practice management learning to work to make real change in our hospitals.

If your workdays are littered with the broken dreams of old practice management lessons not implemented, don't despair. Let's make this happen together! I recently got taken to task for an article I wrote that petitioned for a wider appreciation of business and practice management (and, yes, corporate practice) in veterinary medicine.

In response, I'd like to double down on that position.

Organizations like the American Animal Hospital Association, the Veterinary Hospital Managers Association and the CVC shows are working harder than ever to help private practitioners become more competitive-but, c'mon, private practitioners! Let's work our side of the desk equally as hard.

We keep referring to our employees as "team members,” but outside of the matching uniforms, is there anything about our business that's like a team? What team puts players into the game on their first game day? What team isn't regularly praised and supported by the coach, who's watching actively on the sidelines? What team doesn't practice?

Is there a science behind great teams?

Believe it or not, some organizations seem to think so. Interested? Click here for an excellent video on the science behind great teams. How would it inform your current management practices?

How many communication lectures have all of us attended only to return to our hospitals and continue on with demoralizing, disrespectful relationships? What were we telling ourselves? “Oh, those rules don't apply here. This Lulu I'm dealing with is outside the bounds of what I learned in class.”

Guess again!

Right now, let's each one of us take out a blank sheet of paper and make a list of all the things we think we know about practice management: financial oversight, marketing, hiring, coaching, communication, team building ... and ask ourselves whether our efforts in these areas are working.

It's going to stir up some questions, no doubt. But let's not keep these questions to ourselves. Let's take them to every CE classroom we enter in 2017. Let's get those hands in the air. Let's start a discussion. Let's participate in our education, not just listen to it.

I'm doubling down. I think we can get great at what we do, but we have to get serious about managing like a pro.

I'm in. Are you?

Bash Halow, CVPM, LVT, is a partner with Halow Tassava Consulting, a frequent speaker at the CVC conferences and a regular contributor to and Firstline magazine.