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Veterinarian Technician May 2009 (Vol 30, No 5)

Management Matters — The Road to Compliance is Paved with Good Intentions

by Katherine Dobbs, RVT, CVPM, PHR

    When we make recommendations about when to give medication to a pet or schedule its wellness examinations and biannual vaccination boosters, we know the recommendations are in the best interest of the pet, but lack of compliance can adversely affect the patient's health and impact the practice's bottom line. Although we may be constantly reminding clients about the importance of their pet's health, compliance continues to be a challenge.

    How, then, can we improve client compliance?


    We tend to relate to people who have interests similar to our own. For example, if you have the same type of pet as the client does, have a child about the same age or graduated from the same school, these can be ways to develop professional relationships with your clients.


    If you show that you are concerned about the pet's well-being, then your words, facial expressions and voice inflection can convince the owner that the recommended care needs to be followed.


    To educate clients more effectively, try personalizing the information — make it about the pet's health as an individual, not the hundreds of other pets you have treated. The reason that owners will care about your recommendations is because they care about their pet.

    We are bombarded with information every day. One voice may be difficult to hear through the constant noise, but many voices in unison can make an impression, so the veterinary team needs to speak together (see AAHA article). Remember that the message often starts with the technician, is reinforced by the veterinarian and is then brought home by front office staff.

    Client compliance does not happen by accident and will not happen at all unless the team works together to make it a priority.

    NEXT: Management Matters — Words to Open the Hiring Door


    Did you know... Empower your technicians—in addition to deploying their clinical skills, encourage technicians to bring new ideas to the practice and give them opportunities for growth. Read More

    These Care Guides are written to help your clients understand common conditions. They are formatted to print and give to your clients for their information.

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