How Not to be Overwhelmed by Your Practice Data

Our guest blogger this week is actually our own Karyn Ekola who is also a super smart data driven CVPM that works with our friends at VetSuccess too.  You will really like what she has to say!


Feeling overwhelmed with all of the data in your practice management system? You’re not alone, and we are here to help!

If you are a VetSuccess member, you are likely receiving four or more reports on a monthly or quarterly basis. Do you ever look at your reports and think, “There is so much good stuff here; I don’t even know where to begin”? I can guarantee that you are not alone if you feel this way. During my report reviews, I show practice managers and owners different ways to best use the reports. But not every practice should plan to focus their energy and resources on working through every single report every single month. At least not at first.

I like to think of the reports like a large cake. Imagine trying to eat the entire cake all at once! You certainly wouldn’t want to eat an entire cake in one sitting. Instead, plan to work through your reports and take “one slice of cake” at a time.

Start by identifying where the areas of opportunity are, and write them down. Once you have your list, you can prioritize it by what projects you want to work on first. Create a short term and long term goal for each area that you identify. By doing this, you can utilize the reports to measure your progress and success. As with all goal setting, make sure to utilize the “SMART” approach in your planning.

S = Specific
M = Measurable
A = Actionable
R = Realistic
T = Time bound

Here’s an example:

Goal: Increase client email collection

As of my October 2016 Practice Overview Report:

Current percentage = 37%
Number of emails collected = 1750
Current total active client count = 4730
TTM average number of unique clients = 1719

Short term goal:

50% collected
2365 emails
Would need to obtain 615 additional emails

Long term goal:

90% collected
4257 emails
Would need to obtain 2507 additional emails

If we collect emails from only 10% of our unique clients each month, we should be able to increase our email collection by 172 per month. At this rate, we should reach 50% collection in four months.

At that same rate of collection, we should be able to reach 90% in 15 months.

Action Plan:

  1. Educate the team at the next team meeting. Lay out the goal, and why we are going to be focusing on this. Ask for one or two people to be on the “Email Collection Task Force”. They will help to promote the program, and will provide the monthly updates at each team meeting.
  2. Make a poster to hang in the lounge to track our progress.
  3. Teach the team to not ask “what’s your email address?”. Instead ask “what email address would you like us to associate with your pet’s medical record?”.
  4. Ensure email (and postcard) reminders are being sent according to the recommendations in the Case Study Resource. By utilizing both emails and postcards for reminders, we increase the chances of our patients returning for their preventive care.
  5. Add a line for client email to all in-house forms that clients fill out, and highlight it.
  6. Ticket raffle – Every time someone collects a new email address, they write it on the ticket with their name. At the end of each month, we pull two tickets and each person will win a gift card.

Staff Incentives:

At 40% – $5 Starbucks gift card
At 90% – Pizza Party (or whatever your team finds to be motivating)
Raffle drawing each month for gift cards

I now have a clear, and very specific (S) action plan for how to increase my client emails. I’m going to get my team involved, and have set up incentives along the way. I can continue to use my VetSuccess Practice Overview Report to see my new percentage each month (M), and can show this to my team so they can also see our progress. I have laid out the steps that I need to take (A), and have identified systems in my practice that I can tweak to help encourage the process. I have set an expectation of how many emails I think we can collect each month, and I feel that it is realistic (R). I have set a time frame with which I feel we can accomplish this goal (T).

This may seem like a long and arduous process. But having a clear plan of action will most certainly guarantee your chances of success will increase significantly, versus just winging it.

So there you have it. Cut your cake into slices. Figure out which piece you want to devour first, grab your “SMART” goal-setting fork and dig in!


23rd of September 2017 08:11 AM
OMG! The cat!! 😂😂
22nd of September 2017 01:57 PM
Great advice from our friends at IT Guru:

Apple Releases iOS 11 – IT-Guru recommends waiting to perform upgrade on your Apple devices!

It’s that time of year when Apple announces their next release of their iPhone 8 with a new iOS 11 operating system. You may see the option to upgrade to this new release in the coming days and we are requesting you wait to upgrade as this new iOS 11 is significantly different. After it has been out for a while and they have released at least 1-2 updates, is when we would recommend going forward. (Example 11.1.x may be a better time to make the update)

There have been announcements from some of the apps stating their app isn’t ready for the new iOS 11 updates. So if there are important features you want to assure work on your Apple device, it is extremely important to make you’re your device supports iOS 11. Thus the reason to wait until at least until Thanksgiving or even closer to Christmas, to assure this release is really ready for your device.

Lastly depending on your device, you may not want to upgrade as it may be fairly old and not handle this upgrade very well. Only newer devices within the last 3-4 years should be considered and if you have anything older like iPHone 4 or 4s it isn’t supported at all. Below is their supported list. But again some of the older devices although they support this upgrade may not run it so well. So we highly suggest iPhone 6 and above, iPad Air and above.

If you do decide to upgrade, we cannot guarantee compatibility with things like Office email, calendar and contacts right now until we test. If you decide to migrate and have issues going back to what you had can be difficult so assuring you have a good backup of your device prior to the upgrade is a MUST DO. We will request you work with Apple support direct to roll you back as your best option of support. (Apple store or Apple Phone support). We just are not in a position to assist with mobile device upgrades until we fully test these ourselves. Depending on feedback, we may even wait to see if there are issues and that time frame may be early December as we watch forums on others that have gone through the update.

“You can't send or reply from, Office 365, or Exchange 2016 in iOS 11 Symptoms
In the native Mail app ( on your iPhone or iPad, you can't send or reply from your, Office 365, or Exchange Server 2016 email account after you upgrade to iOS 11.
Note: These issues don’t occur in iOS 10.
Cause: This issue occurs because the Mail app on iOS 11 is not compatible with, Office 365, or Exchange Server 2016 running on Windows Server 2016”.
Thanks in advance for your time and hoping this helps answer questions on if you should upgrade to iOS 11.

Our professional advice is to let others roll this out, do the testing and have Apple provide a few fixes, before rolling up to the new release assuring the apps you use will work.
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21st of September 2017 04:18 PM
Millennials are now the largest generation segment of pet owners, and 95% of them own a smartphone. What are you doing to market to this pet owning majority?
Check out our latest webinar, "Confessions of a Millennial Pet Owner", featuring Vet2Pet's Karyn Ekola and Hadley Larsen!
Join us as we learn about how millennials search for businesses and utilize loyalty programs. Ever wonder what millennials do when the phone book arrives? Watch to find out!