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Feb 01, 2006



You've seen it before: Sweet little white-haired Mrs. Smith turns into the Queen of Mean when she gets her first gander at her bill. Karen Sabatini, a Firstline Editorial Advisory Board member and receptionist at Ardmore Animal Hospital in Ardmore, Pa., says offering estimates may head off these ugly client transformations. Since her practice started offering estimates, client complaints have dropped by at least 75 percent, she says. Team members at Ardmore Animal Hospital use these guidelines to make estimates effective:
  • Offer regular updates. "With hospitalized pets, we explain that initial estimates may only include diagnostics," Sabatini says. "Then we get back to clients if we need to update the estimate." Team members invite clients to call for balance updates, and if the pet may be hospitalized for a lengthy stay, they call the owners with daily totals.
  • Always overestimate. "If the bill is $50 less than they expected, clients feel pleasantly surprised," Sabatini says. For example, if you expect to take four to six radiographs, build your estimate based on six to seven. And include a statement that indicates the charge could be 25 percent higher than the estimate.

"Offering clients estimates and updates makes them feel involved in their pets' healthcare," Sabatini says. "And they know what to expect before they get the bill."

Proceedings papers for techs

The very best behavior advice for new puppy owners (Proceedings)

CVC IN SAN DIEGO PROCEEDINGS

The entire hospital staff should play a role in the counseling of new puppy owners.

The technician's role creating a behavior centered veterinary practice (Proceedings)

CVC IN SAN DIEGO PROCEEDINGS

A focus on pet behavior in the veterinary clinic is an excellent practice builder.

Trying times--dealing with canine adolescent dog (Proceedings)

CVC IN SAN DIEGO PROCEEDINGS

A behavior wellness exam is an opportunity to check up on a pet’s behavioral health and answer any related questions a client may have.

Enriching geriatric patients' lives (Proceedings)

CVC IN SAN DIEGO PROCEEDINGS

An important time for practices to include a behavioral exam is when a pet becomes a senior.

Tubes and tracheas--all about endotracheal tubes and lesions in difficult intubations (Proceedings)

CVC IN SAN DIEGO PROCEEDINGS

Endotracheal tubes are usually made from silicone, polyvinyl chloride (PVC) plastic or red rubber.