Manager continues to save practice owner time and money

ADVERTISEMENT

Manager continues to save practice owner time and money

This veterinarian hired her manager 15 years ago and never looked back.
source-image
Jul 20, 2009
By dvm360.com staff

Dr. Carol McKee and two other veterinarians started Southpointe Veterinary Hospital in Allen Park, Mich., in 1982 with one team member. It was easy to handle management duties back then, says Dr. McKee. “We could save animals, and we could help answer the phones,” she says. But soon a handful of employees turned into more than a dozen, and she needed help.

Dr. McKee looked internally for her first office manager and found Joyce Blair. Blair had started as a kennel attendant and had worked her way into a veterinary assistant job. She had previous management experience and was a people person. Blair has now been Southpointe’s office manager for 15 years, handling hiring and firing of team members and tackling client concerns and team members’ interpersonal issues.

Control freaks don’t need to worry, Dr. McKee says. Hiring an office manager never meant she gave up control of the things she loved. She is implementing the practice’s move to a paperless system, and organizes client handouts in the practice software to easily print for exam room use. She also still handles equipment purchases. “I had a hard time giving up management duties,” she says. Blair has taken the onerous management duties from Dr. McKee and left her the gems.

It’s not all roses, of course. Dr. McKee has to make tough decisions every day. But Blair is invaluable: managing staffing according to appointment schedule—not perceptions of busy-ness—and saving the practice labor dollars whenever she can. “If Michigan didn’t have a law against nonveterinarian owners of clinics, I’d have brought Joyce in as a partner,” Dr. McKee says. Dr. McKee’s partner, Dr. Kim Cox, said she’d buy in only if Blair remained with the practice “forever.”

Hot topics on dvm360

Vetcetera: The complex topic of canine fear-related aggression

A guided tour of resources for addressing this popular and complicated subject, featuring advice from Dr. John Ciribassi.

Reality TV and the veterinarian: Discussing mainstream dog training advice with clients

Your clients may be getting behavior advice from cable TV. Get your opinion in the mix.

Blog: Election results pose obstacles for veterinary prescription law

Flip in U.S. Senate's majority may slow progress of Fairness to Pet Owners Act.

7 steps to a better relationship between veterinarians and rescue groups

A DVM in the city shares his advice to veterinary practices for working with rescues.

The war between shelters, veterinarians needs to end

Despite practitioners’ legitimate gripes, they’re hurting themselves.