Before I started my career in the veterinary industry, I had a puppy on a preventive care plan. It was quite perfect because I had never owned a dog before, much less a puppy, and I had no clue what kind of continuous medical care they needed. I’m ashamed to say, I even bought an over-the-counter flea collar (gasp!).
A plan made it easy for me — all I had to do was show up to my scheduled appointments, and they provided whatever care my puppy needed that day. It eased my worries, and I knew I was making the best decision for my puppy.
Because of that experience, I decided to enter the veterinary world as a paraprofessional. To this day, I remain an advocate of preventive care/wellness plans/packages. They are so important to your pets, your clients, your employees, and your hospital. Here’s 4 stakeholders who agree:
It might go without saying, but the AVMA (American Veterinary Medical Association) recognizes and strongly supports the importance of wellness plans.
Following a standard preventive care regimen for cats and dogs will keep them healthier, happier, and maybe even help them live longer. A plan can detect illness and disease early so that more treatment options are available resulting in pets feeling better faster. Preventive care is essential for practicing a high level of quality medical care, and preventing disease.
Offering wellness plans helps increase your client satisfaction! Remember my introduction to the world of pet ownership – I was “that” client who had no clue what to do.
Having the service of a wellness plan at my vet’s office was a life saver AND provided me with education on how to properly care for my puppy. It set my expectations of how to be a responsible pet parent. A monthly pay-plan was also crucial for me, as I was just out of college and living on my own for the first time.
Clients also want to see their new family members thrive! A wellness plan will ensure that their beloved pets will live as long as possible, and that any easy-preventable illnesses are avoided.
Once I transitioned from client to employee, I experienced the joy and ease of working with our wellness plan patients and clients. It felt GOOD to be able to care for my patients with comprehensive preventive care. Clients who utilized a plan made our appointments easier — everyone knew what was going to happen, so the focus of the appointment was clear. It allowed us to be more efficient with our time, and spend more time with all the patients in the hospital, especially those there for illness. It also made us feel good to see our patients grow up and watch our clients’ families grow. In short, we loved feeling more connected with our wellness patients and clients!
Money is a touchy subject, but the truth is preventive care packages are good for your hospital. If a client is purchasing a year’s worth of services, you’re almost guaranteed that they’ll come to your hospital exclusively for care. It also helps provide a steady patient load as your “regulars” come in for routine care, which means steady or guaranteed revenue for your hospital.
You can find statistics that show wellness clients take their pets to the vet more because they usually get discounted (or no) exam fees.
The bottom line is, preventive care plans are good for your business.
A Final Note
Upon time for wellness plan renewals, I would sometimes hear my clients debating about whether or not they wanted to keep their pet on a plan for another year.
“He’s really been pretty healthy” they would say. And I would respond, “Exactly! Then we’ve done our jobs well. That’s the power of preventive care!”
Nothing felt better than to hear a client say their pet had been healthy all year long – I mean, how happy would you be if your kid went a whole year without having the flu? – and it was because of the comprehensive, preventive care we were able to give that pet because they were on a wellness plan.
Chris Henning – Hippo Manager Practice Coach
Chris Henning has been in the veterinary field for over 10 years, her specialties including wellness plan implementation, change management, professional development, and customer service. She believes in providing the highest level of medical care to pets and clients, while developing teams to perform at their highest potential. Chris is passionate about helping other veterinary leaders expand their own leadership skills to increase their own team engagement and financial success.