pet genetics

Paws for Progress: Summer Planning for Your Veterinary Practice

Reflect on your veterinary practice's progress and plan for the future with these tips. Learn how to incorporate genetic testing and make proactive changes for growth.

Recently, our team at Basepaws gathered together to engage in a thoughtful reflection on our progress and to generate fresh ideas for the future. These types of activities are of utmost importance for any group aiming to thrive. Assessing what we have achieved thus far and strategically outlining our plans for the future is absolutely crucial. In the context of a veterinary practice, these activities become essential when evaluating new products and services, such as genetic testing.

Take a time-out.

For a busy veterinary practice, summer can be jam-packed! Those unexpected ear infections and incessantly itchy skin conditions tend to flare with warmer temps! While you’re busy easing itching and dousing burning ears, don’t forget to check if the patient has any outstanding preventive care needs or emerging preventable conditions. Sometimes a brief time-out to review the medical record can avoid a future problem. 

Summer is also a great time to educate your clients about preventive care. Many pet owners have more time to make preventive care appointments without navigating around busy school schedules. Schedule a website blog, social media posts, and community outreach this summer and fall to promote your preventive care programs. Get some tips on how to do this from social media expert and veterinarian, Dr. Caitlin DeWilde.

By the time summer hits, over half the year is gone. The year’s mid-point is also a time to reflect on what has been working well for your practice and how you are doing with your yearly goals. Has your team successfully incorporated a new workflow to improve efficiency? Have you adopted a new technology you've been thinking about? What things are you doing to add value and set your practice apart? This time of year is a perfect time to reflect on what has worked and what may need some more development.

Course Correct

Sometimes we have to course correct, and that's fine! Realizing that you have fallen short of a goal or that your idea isn't as successful as you hoped, is better than it sounds. Can you think of a great idea you wanted to or started to implement in your practice that wasn't feasible? Chances are that realization allowed you to improve or create an even better idea, process, or project.

Now is the time to course correct when needed. I reflect on a time when I worked with a veterinary practice that wanted to leverage a new brand and logo. Excitedly, they purchased every possible product they could think of with the new brand. They had hundreds of shampoos, dental chews, leashes, pens, bags, etc. They were ready to see these new products fly off their shelves and into their clients’ homes!

But those sales didn’t happen. They discovered that their clients didn't come to them for their logo; they came to them for their customer service and quality care. Time for a course correction. Time to think of a new strategy.  For this practice, it was time to use the surplus of items to help new clients bond to their practice and add value to their services.

Planning for Future

Now is the perfect time to gather your team and have a discussion about what has been successful and what needs improvement. Reflecting on your practice's achievements and setbacks is crucial for planning for the future. In today's rapidly advancing world, it's essential to embrace both our triumphs and setbacks, especially with the advent of technologies like artificial intelligence (AI) and pet genetic testing.

AI can now assist us in various tasks, as simple as composing emails and as advanced as analyzing lab results. Additionally, pet genetic testing empowers veterinary professionals to identify potential health risks in their patients, enabling them to take proactive measures. Evaluating these innovative products and services is not as simple as making a binary decision to offer them. 

To successfully implement genetic testing into your practice, start with careful planning and consider how genetic test results will fit into your workflows, how to effectively communicate their benefits to clients, and how your team will adapt to them. It's also important to determine the clinical benefits they provide to your patients and establish appropriate pricing. Taking the time to evaluate these products and services is crucial for the progress and growth of your practice. 

Moving forward

Once you have gathered your team and taken the time to reflect on the past, present, and future, it is time to take action. If you are considering incorporating a new service, such as genetic testing, into your practice in 2024, it is important to determine the necessary steps to move forward and get started now. This may involve gradually integrating the new service and identifying the specific actions required to make it a standard of care. It is also valuable to listen to your clients and understand their wants and needs.

Don't be afraid to start small and remember that successful veterinary practices (and programs) are not built overnight. Every success story begins by trying something different. 

If you're considering incorporating genetic testing into your veterinary practice, we would be happy to discuss how to make it a seamless and clinically beneficial experience for both you and your patients. You can schedule a short 15-minute talk with our team to learn more.

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