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Lost and found

VETERINARY ECONOMICS

Q: How can I get the doctors to take care of the equipment at my practice? They don't keep their trucks clean and often leave equipment behind on visits.


Dr. Mark Baus
First, make sure you've communicated your expectations for the proper care of practice equipment, says Dr. Mark Baus, managing partner at Fairfield Equine Associates in Newtown, Conn. It's possible that the doctors aren't aware of the extent of the problem. Then consider having each doctor purchase his or her own vehicle and recoup mileage costs from the practice at the current IRS rate. This change shifts responsibility for proper care and maintenance to the owner of the vehicle, Dr. Baus says.

The equipment should be the responsibility of assistants or technicians. "This problem may be a reason to consider hiring a qualified assistant or technician for each doctor," Dr. Baus says. A technician can free up the doctor to concentrate on the essential activities of equine practice.

For expensive equipment, like an endoscope or an ultrasound machine, schedule the use of the equipment so you can track who used it and where. Indelibly label equipment with your practice's name and phone number. With luck, clients will let you know if a piece of equipment was left behind. Once you have the processes and systems in place, you can hold your doctors accountable.

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Source: VETERINARY ECONOMICS,
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