With growth comes change.
While my current staff and I did a good job dividing up the duties of the practice director, I decided I needed help managing and started researching what it might be.
And I saw the incredible progress Sally made on major projects while she was here. She will be going on a long term camping adventure soon so I have to look for possibilities.
The Association of Veterinary Hospital Managers said there are three levels of practice management: a veterinary hospital office manager; a veterinary practice director; and, a veterinary hospital administrator.
From the VHMA, a veterinary hospital office manager is responsible for ensuring that policies and administrative decisions are followed.
A veterinary practice director is charged with the responsibilities of managing the business operations of a veterinary hospital.
The function of a veterinary hospital administrator is unique from all other positions in a veterinary hospital, as the administrator has complete authority over the operation of the business and the practice in concert with the (s ) firm owner (s) or board of directors.
(The office administrator performs all of these duties as well as hiring and scheduling work.)
I currently wear the hospital administrator’s cap and the doctor’s cap. I don’t want to have to ask for the equipment I want or need.
And yes, I know the laser, thermal imager, oxygen cage and a few other things don’t really pay off, but they save lives, ease pain, or make diagnosis easier.
Sometimes that is enough.
This means that I need an office manager or a practice manager.
“The area of authority and decision-making of an office manager can be very broad or very limited depending on administrative needs and established criteria. Typically, the office manager may be responsible for day-to-day accounting transactions with customers, banks, suppliers and staff. Office managers can coordinate the planning, training, purchasing, and accounting of a veterinary practice. Some office managers may be the liaison between the administrator and support staff.
Whereas a “practice director can have vastly different responsibilities and powers depending on the size of the hospital and the ownership or delegation of the administrator.”
Practice directors have knowledge of all the responsibilities of a veterinary office manager and the ability to advance the management of a veterinary hospital by having direct authority and decision-making responsibilities over all business aspects of the practice. veterinary practice.
The tasks listed are to prepare and make bank deposits.
Erika did this, but she could do more callbacks if she didn’t have to reconcile the deposits. Likewise, Erika helps with accounts payable while I do the bookkeeping. Bookkeeping doesn’t really bother me and it helps me make sure that I’m not being abused.
Various people have helped with the accounts receivable, but it really crept in a bit too much. A lot of people promise to pay us, but when it’s no longer an emergency, paying us is no longer a priority.
We need someone to take care of this and make us pay or collect the accounts.
Lindsay stepped up to make staff schedules. The receptionists do theirs. They do such a good job that I didn’t realize we were two people missing on Tuesday.
Next task: arbitrate personnel issues. This is one of the main reasons I would like a manager. I don’t care about having weekly staff meetings and coordinating daily tasks, but I don’t like the details to make sure things get done. All. Day.
Becky Jo has worked in direct action to handle complaints and serve as a liaison with clients regarding complaints, but a few of them have fallen through the cracks.
Garrett and Rusty have done a bit to oversee the upkeep of buildings and equipment and make sure things get done, but they have to do it for their other duties.
Another duty is to purchase / supervise the procurement of supplies. Lindsay takes care of most of the day-to-day orders. Stephanie helps with vaccines or other things. I work with equipment purchases.
I am very happy to pass the hat which ensures compliance with laws and regulations. There are a lot of things specific to veterinary medicine that will need to be taught, but that’s another bunch of details that I don’t really need to do.
I don’t think one person can do well with the whole Guardian Animal marketing plan.
Animal of the day, Instagram, Facebook,
the website and community events are all important tasks. However, someone to make sure we’re all on track on busy days would be great.
Our practice management software (managing the practice information technology (IT)) is a job in itself. And then the job includes preparing or overseeing hospital accounting, preparing hospital budgets, auditing the company, and preparing financial information.
One of the things I really want to do that we’ve had issues with is the KPI, which is a set of numbers that determine how the business is doing. This becomes important because I want to add another vet.
Reading the VHMA checklist, I realize that tasks are what the future practice director will want to know, but what is most important to me are critical skills.
The thirteen critical skills that the VHMA lists are decision making (a new day is a new situation), integrity, critical and strategic thinking (veterinary medicine changes), planning and prioritization, oral communication and comprehension (speaking and listening), writing and verbal skills (my staff say we have a protocol for everything), analytical skills (we make business decisions based on complex data), compliance (importance of organizational rules and policies ), resourcefulness (vet med doesn’t have the money that human med does, but we want better results), resilience, adaptability, lifelong learning and leadership.
So, I will list the tasks and research the basic skills.
Stay tuned. Growth and thoughtful change improve the future.
MJ Wixsom, DVM MS is a best-selling Amazon author who practices at the Guardian Animal Medical Center in Flatwoods, Ky. GuardianAnimal.com 606-928-6566