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Issue: 69 - Sep 15, 2014
10 Ways to Bring Positive Change to Your Veterinary Practice
By: CareCredit

Positivity in the work environment is contagious — for your staff and your clients. Here are 10 tips from Dr. Ernie Ward to get your practice moving in the right direction.

Veterinary Economics Editorial Advisory Board member Dr. Ernie Ward is dedicated to helping veterinarians and pet owners alike do what’s best for pets. Dr. Ward is a graduate from the University Of Georgia College Of Veterinary Medicine, and has appeared on Animal Planet, CNN and NBC Nightly News, among other TV and radio talk shows nationwide.

CareCredit is proud to bring you Dr. Ward’s insightful tips on improving your veterinary practice. The CareCredit credit card is a great way for pet owners to finance the care pets need to stay healthy. For expenses large or small CareCredit can help give clients peace of mind when caring for their pets.

  1. Get involved in your community. Hosting an open house at your practice gives you and your team a great excuse to clean up, show off your clinic and talk to clients about everything you have to offer.
  2. Catch goodness. Make it a habit to catch someone doing something good every day — and praise them publicly for it.
  3. Conduct performance evaluations. Let your staff know what they’re doing well — and what they can improve on. Dr. Ward points out that by doing evaluations twice a year — at least for the first three years of employment — the reviews won’t necessarily be associated with a yearly raise.
  4. Train staff in phases. To prevent holes in learned skills, train new staff members according to a schedule. And don’t forget to include the most basic tasks in new employee training.
  5. Share your purpose. Ask new employees to share their stories at the first staff training meeting they attend. Not only does it give everyone a chance to meet the new members of the team, but it allows people to make connections and start conversations based on common interests.
  6. Make your one thought count. Replace negative thoughts and feelings with … something else. If you hear others speaking negatively in the practice, flip the energy around.
  7. Participate in social media. Use Facebook and Twitter to promote positivity, share news and pictures, and keep clients engaged.
  8. Paint the walls — literally. Refresh, renew, and renovate. Repaint the lobby and purchase new uniforms for team members every few years. Your clients do notice.
  9. Use role-playing as a training tool. Videotape appointments, role-play common situations your team will encounter, and provide feedback. Everyone — including the practice owner — will benefit.
  10. Stay on top of staff training. Conduct weekly or bi-weekly meetings that cover the basics — housecleaning, client service and communication. You can also use staff meetings to highlight a situation where a team member really performed well.

This article is compliments of CareCredit. For more info about CareCredit visit or call 800-300-3046.

Ward, Ernie. “Live from CVC: 10 Ways to Bring Positive Change to Your Veterinary Practice.” Veterinary Economics. August 25, 2012.

All statements and opinions in this white paper are the sole opinions of the author and not those of CareCredit or Synchrony Bank (formerly GE Capital Retail Bank). The content is subject to change without notice and offered for informational use only. You are urged to consult with your individual advisors with respect to any professional advice presented. Your receipt of this material constitutes your acceptance of these terms and conditions.