Jul 10, 2015 by Andrew Clark
“Is My Practice Healthy?” That is a question I am asked much more often than prior to the ‘great recession’. We have developed a web-based platform to help veterinarians learn how to assess the health of their practices and perhaps more important, develop strategy to improve the health of those practices.
Veterinarians are educated, driven and smart people. It is a daunting question for us to have to ask about the health of our own businesses. We are trained to assess the health of our patients. We do an examination then we may run some lab work. Then we compare the results of the lab work to normal. Armed with that information we create a plan to return the patient to health, soundness, fertility etc. All of us are comfortable with that process. And yet we are not comfortable with the same principles applied to our businesses.
I hate having to invent new processes if there is an existing process in place that we can apply to a new challenge. A few years ago I heard Dr Helen Aceto speak at the University of Pennsylvania on biosecurity. She really emphasized the concept of “the hospital as a patient”; monitoring the health of the hospital by, in addition to other procedures, periodic environmental and patient cultures. I’m not a Medicine guy but I think that is a brilliant concept! How about if we expand the idea to include the financial health of our practices? Gather some data and learn what the data tells us about our businesses.
In my opinion, since we have veterinary analytical skill sets required to test and respond, it should be pretty straightforward to utilize those skills in evaluating the health of our practices. We don’t have to master new skills; we simply need to develop the ability to run lab work on our practices and use the results to create a plan. What would we measure? That’s a great question! A clinical pathology lab gives us a nice tidy list of tests we might want to run, perhaps a description of each and most importantly…a list of normals. Until now, unfortunately, there has not been a tool available to vast majority of practices to enable them to test their practice for health. “Is My Practice Healthy?” provides that opportunity!
There are some broad ‘normals’ available for the business of veterinary medicine but virtually no one has developed ‘normals’ for their practice. By inputting a few data points per month into “Is My Practice Healthy”, you will receive remarkably useful managerial accounting information on which to develop your normal and base your business decisions.
In addition to those high impact data points, IMPH will provide ongoing business management content designed to help you make good business decisions.