The start of the year is an excellent time to regroup as a clinic. Here are 10 great resolutions to kick off 2023.
1. Prioritize Client Education
Client education is a powerful tool. It can make your work easier and your treatment outcomes more successful. Clients want to feel informed when it comes to making decisions about their pet’s wellness. Why not offer your clients easy and accessible educational materials about dental care, vaccinations, monthly preventives, and more? Check out PetDesk’s 2022 Client Education Content Pack for free materials.
2. Implement Low-Stress Handling
Fractious animals are hard to manage, especially when you’re overbooked and short-staffed, but that never justifies pushing an animal past comfort for the sake of treatment. As the saying goes, less is more, which is true when it comes to low-stress handling.
Train your team on some of the most basic methods of low-stress handling and techniques, and help reduce patient fear and stress in your clinic. Try customizing your team’s approach for each patient, and schedule extra time for overly anxious patients. Of course, if a patient has a history of being fractious, take appropriate measures to protect your staff.
3. Laugh More
When clinics get busy and clients get impatient, it feels like there’s no room for humor. Yet, laughter works wonders and actually produces positive chemical changes in the body, stimulates organs, relieves stress and pain, soothes tension, and much more. When things start to feel out of control, take a minute to reconnect with your team. Make a joke or start a quick activity that brings out the laughter in your group, even if just for a minute. A little humor can go a long way.
Clinics have a tendency to hold onto expired items. Pick a “slow” day (dare we say it) to coordinate a decluttering party. Put on some music, order pizza, and clear out cabinets and drawers. Take it to the next level and start a robust restocking list and note which items expired before use. Clinics can always use more free space!
5. Improve Communication
Communication is key, and data actually shows that errors in communication are linked to a rise in clinical morbidity and mortality in medicine. To complicate things further, most communication is primarily nonverbal. This means that facial expressions, posture, tone of voice (i.e., intensity, pitch, inflection), and gestures provide more clues about intent than spoken words.
Take a close look at how well your team communicates internally and externally. Make sure that your team follows protocols for verbal, written, and formal communication with clients and understands appropriate non-verbal communication in the workplace.
6. Embrace Work-Life Balance
Lack of work-life balance is a persistent issue that healthcare professionals face. People who work in medicine are passionate about their work and want to make a difference. With this drive comes compassion fatigue and eventual disregard for self-care. Stop burnout in its tracks and enforce a positive culture around work-life balance in your clinic. Keep your team healthy and happy.
7. Take More Breaks
It doesn’t matter if you’re doing intake, working in surgery, working in emergency, or on the phone dealing with a difficult client, clinical work is stressful. Working in a high-intensity environment might fuel some to perform their best, but this is not sustainable and eventually leads to fatigue, burnout, and illness. Ensure that your team members are taking their designated uninterrupted breaks throughout the day and that they have an opportunity to hydrate, eat, use the restroom, and disconnect (no excuses!).
8. Practice Gratitude
The past few years have tested everyone. With that said, it’s important to take a minute to pause and appreciate the good things in life. As a team, consider starting a gratitude board or something similar that celebrates things you all are thankful for, big or small. Additionally, practicing gratitude has the potential to improve health in the long run, so why not start today?
9. Go Digital
It’s time to level up and go digital with your records, transactions, and client communication. Paper records are not only wasteful, but they contain sensitive data that can get lost and are less secure overall. Nowadays, veterinary software offers tons of unique tools and integrations that make clinical operations easier for your team and your clients. Consider streamlining client communication by adding PetDesk’s client engagement platform and mobile app in conjunction with your Practice Management Software.
10. Build a Social Following
Social media is your greatest untapped marketing tool. Choose from platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and TikTok, or send out weekly or monthly newsletters. There are so many ways to boost your clinic’s reputation and grow your client base. Check out December’s free social media kit to get started.