Q&A: Open up to open-book management

How can open-book management help my succession planning strategy?
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Oct 01, 2010
By dvm360.com staff

Open-book management—the act of sharing important financial information and other metrics about the practice with team members—results in better care for pets, clients, team members, and, ultimately, the investor or owner veterinarian, says Veterinary Economics Practice Management Editor Dr. Ross Clark. "For me, there's no other way nowadays to practice."

It doesn't take too much effort, either, Dr. Clark says. Appoint each team member to track a piece of management data, like the number of euthanasias and the number of pets who passed away each week. In addition to keeping your team informed about how the practice is performing and how many clients and patients you've lost to attrition, it will help them avoid the faux pas of asking a client about a pet that has recently died.

In addition, open-book management can help you run a more profitable practice by identifying your weak spots, Dr. Clark says. It's easy for one person to overlook a revenue deficiency, but multiple sets of eyes are more likely to spot your practice's shortcomings. This will help you and your team provide better care for your patients, and it will set you up for short-term and long-term financial success. And if you can do that, your practice will be more attractive to buyers. "Open-book management is the answer," Dr. Clark says. "I highly recommend it to everyone."