Capturing compliance opportunities every patient visit (Sponsored by Nestlé Purina)

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Feb 01, 2012

When a client brought her 14-year-old dog to the veterinarian for a preventive care exam, she asked about arthritis because Hondo moves slower on stairs and has less energy. The doctor found Hondo's hips were tender upon manipulation. Hondo also had Grade 3 dental disease. The dog received an exam, a senior wellness screening, vaccinations, heartworm and tick-borne infection tests, an intestinal parasite test, and a refill of 12 months of heartworm preventive. The client said she'd consider a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug for Hondo's arthritis after getting senior screening results.

While compliance seems acceptable, a deeper look into the medical record revealed missed opportunities. Hondo's vaccinations for Bordetella and leptospirosis were overdue. The owner feeds Kirkland adult dog food from Costco. Why didn't the technician or doctor discuss the benefits of a joint-management diet? Although the client bought heartworm preventive medication, she declined flea control products. A dental treatment plan should have been presented.

Missing preventive care opportunities not only fails patients, it hurts the financial health of your practice. Patient visits have seriously declined during the past two years, with a net 17% decrease.1 When patients visit, they are often ill. Veterinarians say they are seeing patients that needed care one to two weeks earlier. Delaying care often drives costs higher, and fewer treatment options may be available.

While you cannot predict when pets will become sick or injured, you can anticipate when they will need preventive care. Exams, diagnostic procedures, vaccinations, therapeutic diets, and parasite preventives are renewable wellness services that generate 38% of revenue.2

Just as you refill medications, think about which wellness services need refills, too. Changing your approach to preventive care can provide better patient care, increase client satisfaction, and generate ongoing revenue.