Problem solving sessions at VPMA Regional Meetings

Following the success of a round table discussion at a recent South West meeting of the Veterinary Practice Management Association (VPMA), Junior Vice-President and overall Regional Co-ordinator Renay Rickard is encouraging the incorporation of similar sessions into the association’s regional meetings going forward.

The round table took place at a meeting of the Avon, Somerset, Devon and Cornwall region on the 17th March, where a group of 14 practice managers from a wide area spent the afternoon talking about management issues common to many in practice. Topics included practice management systems, lone worker safety, pricing and invoicing systems, credit control, TB testing and guarding against employee theft.

Ms Rickard commented, “This meeting was unusual in that we did not have a formal speaker and instead focused the entire time on discussion and the sharing of learnings and ideas.  We would have continued long into the evening if time allowed, as we realised that we all face similar problems and challenges to overcome, and that talking them through with other practice managers is a source of great help and support.

“I am recommending that this format is incorporated into all our regional meetings going forward, either as stand-alone sessions or alongside our traditional approach of hosting talks on management topics. Our meetings have always been about networking, and the round table format just helps to ensure that time is set aside to have these really valuable discussions.”

The next meeting of the Avon, Somerset, Devon and Cornwall regional group is on the 23rd June in Kilmington, Devon from 2pm to 4.30pm. The afternoon is split into two sessions with Onswitch’s Kristie Fairbanks speaking on ‘How to get paid for great care’, followed by a round table discussion on tricky management issues.

Positioning and obtaining payment for services is an area that commonly causes problems in practice. Ms Rickard further commented, “Unfortunately there is no magic wand to ensure that your clients pay you every time their pets have treatment, but there are ways to ensure that it is more likely that they will. In her talk, Kristie will look at the ways in which you can communicate what your services are worth and also review the whole process by looking at pricing, estimates and the options available, so that when payment is requested, it is a positive experience for you and the client.”

Registration forms for the meeting can be downloaded from the Regions page on the VPMA website http://www.vpma.co.uk with further information available from the secretariat on 07000 782324. The meeting is free to VPMA members, and open to non-members at a cost of £24 inc. VAT.

Photo: Renay Rickard, JVP and overall Regional Coordinator for the Veterinary Practice Management Association.