It started as a typical Monday morning. We were slammed with scheduled appointments, surgery drop-offs, emergency transfers, five phone lines ringing, clients chatting to us through the app, and a working interview.
Then our veterinary practice management system went down. Like, completely down. We had no access to our appointment books. No access to our patient records.
What did our team do? Rather than feel sorry for ourselves because of this “case of the Mondays,” we sprang into action. We flocked to printer paper, clipboards, and to our practice’s app. Our app and client engagement platform was still working, so we could use it to look up clients and patients and guide us through this turbulent morning.
At one time, our veterinary practice app was a new idea for our team. Now, the app has become part of our normal daily operations. It’s a tool we rely on heavily, and I’m so glad that this one-time new idea has taken off with our team.
The benefits of implementing new ideas with your veterinary team
As veterinary practice managers and owners, we have an obligation to stay on top of the latest technology and advances, and to get our teams excited about new ideas that help to create better client and patient experiences. If we can implement new ideas smoothly, we can improve our animal hospital workflow, foster better teamwork, grow our bonds with clients, and enjoy better patient outcomes.
If there are so many benefits to implementing new ideas, why are so many of us afraid to do so? Because we’re afraid of objection, and we’re afraid of failing. But embracing the excitement of new ideas will give you the confidence to lead your team into better opportunities and experiences. Once you get comfortable introducing new ideas, implementing them will be the easiest part.
How to implement new ideas with your veterinary team
1: Dream and draft it
Start small. Consider one of the little challenges you and your veterinary team face daily.
2: Get excited, share it, and get others excited
3: Prepare and plan it
With your lead team now excited and any potential hiccups outlined and worked out, you proceed with preparing an outline of this new process and identifying the tools needed to carry it out. Draft a one-page plan that includes the details, but keep it simple. Now that the idea is on paper, it’s time to share the exciting news with your whole team. Use this time to advise a trial date, hear other concerns or excitements, and explain to the team how the new idea will benefit the practice.
4: Trial and tweak it
Set a trial timeline and adjust your draft proposal along the way. During the trial period, have daily huddles with your team, send a weekly summary email, or create a comment board to keep up with how the idea is working, and how your team is feeling about it. Use the feedback from your team to make adjustments.
5: Accept or decline it
Once the trial period is complete and everyone on the team has given it their best effort, decide as a team if this new idea stays or goes. Either way, celebrate trying something new!
New ideas bring opportunities to better your veterinary practice. They also help to keep your team engaged, and to create a culture geared toward solutions. When was the last time you implemented something new in your practice? If you don’t have a practice app, consider starting there! Sign up for a demo of the Vet2Pet platform to get started.
Chelsie Roberge, a proud graduate of the University of Idaho, is passionate about veterinary medicine, and serves as practice manager for Prairie Animal Hospital, a 10-doctor practice. For many years prior to her current role, Chelsie worked as a technician in small- and mixed-animal practices, and she also worked in research. Serving as a practice manager has brought a new passion for communication and connections into Chelsie’s already rewarding career. She loves encouraging others to find their passion, and looks forward to a life well-lived, and a long career in veterinary medicine.