Actions Veterinary Hospitals Can Take To Weather a Fluctuating Economy
The soaring inflation rates that drove up prices, labor, and other costs for veterinary hospitals have now fallen for the 12th straight month. Does that mean that the threat of recession is now gone? And what should veterinary hospitals do now?
Simply put, cooling inflation doesn’t mean it’s time to relax. Labor costs still remain high, and many veterinary clients are still price sensitive, making them hesitant to accept doctors’ recommendations. That’s why hospital owners should focus on the basics of veterinary practice management, employee satisfaction, and customer satisfaction. Here are a few ideas:
- Make quarterly pricing adjustments. A decreasing inflation rate doesn’t mean you should make price cuts. Instead, when you’re making quarterly pricing adjustments in your practice management system, consider the current inflation rate and build it into your pricing updates.
- Know your numbers and monitor them. Your hospital’s financials are most significantly impacted by revenue, direct costs, and labor – and, of course, earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA). It’s important to understand these numbers and to regularly monitor them to ensure your hospital’s financial picture remains healthy despite economic fluctuations.
- Mentor for retention and recruitment. Recruiting and retaining veterinarians and hospital staff continues to be a struggle for veterinary hospitals. But what many associate veterinarians and new graduates want is mentorship. Consider creating a robust and detailed mentorship plan if your hospital doesn’t have one in place. The plan can also be shared during candidate interviews to show your hospital’s commitment to mentoring.
- Improve efficiencies. Improving your hospital’s efficiency can help reduce expenses and make the most of staff members’ time. When looking at hospital operations, evaluate whether a technology solution can help streamline processes, whether it’s online scheduling, sending reminder emails, or gathering client feedback. Efficiencies can also help improve the client experience, which can boost client loyalty.
Though it’s hard to predict what the economy will be like in the months ahead, veterinary hospitals can help position themselves for success now by making a few small improvements.
Do you have questions about how your hospital can improve its profitability? Contact KSM’s veterinary consulting team or complete this form.
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