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As an industry-leading marketing provider, iVET360 has had the unique opportunity to observe veterinary hospitals of all specialties and sizes across the nation as they respond to COVID-19. The truth is that we’re all in uncharted territory right now; We’re not only navigating a pandemic but also trying to stay afloat after a near-shutdown of our economy. While some practices halt all marketing efforts and even shutter temporarily, others have turned to innovative solutions during these trying times. With our support, practices that embrace a proactive marketing approach have been able to mitigate losses in revenue and drops in new client growth. Over the last month, we have identified a set of tools and operational best practices that position hospitals for success. We also recognize that this crisis has created a shift in consumer behavior that will likely be forever changed, and our industry must adapt in order to succeed.
It looks like things are going to start opening up again soon around the country. Good or bad, it’s happening—and we want to help you be ready for it.
So LIVE…from kitchen tables all over Portland, OR…it’s a special “Managing Your Practice After COVID-19” webinar! This webinar is free and open to anyone who wants assistance in getting back up and running in the new normal. No sales, no strings, just the best of iVET360’s Marketing, Analytics, and Human Resources teams offering you great ideas.
Our last regularly scheduled HR COVID-19 Town Hall started with a brief update on the Paycheck Protection Plan and the newly approved funding. Suggestions were made about how to manage finances while waiting for approval. We then dove back into thinking about life after the pandemic with suggestions to keep employees actively engaged after the abnormal circumstances many have found themselves in. These suggestions included catching up on performance evaluations, starting one-on-one conversations, creating goals and development plans, and offering ample online training to the team to help them build skills. We ended with our final frequently asked questions segment, this time focusing on getting team members to return to work, and how to handle employees who have been “double-dipping:” collecting unemployment while also on paid FFCRA EFMLA leave.
In this webinar, iVET360 Analyst Jamie Monachino discussed the developments in the Paycheck Protection plan. This was especially timely as the fund had already run out of money before many practices could be approved. Jamie discussed ways to protect revenue, understand breakeven, and manage cost of goods and payroll until PPP funding comes. Kyle approached the difficult topic of the recent increase in angry clients in many practices and how to de-escalate them as easily as possible. Kyle then jumped into a topic not many practice owners or managers have thought of: life beyond the COVID-19 crisis. The webinar concluded with our typical feature: this week’s frequently asked questions.
In this webinar, we welcomed Senior Marketing Manager Kate Goudschaal. She explained many key items to consider to ensure the marketing engine is still running during the crisis. This included adapting to the limitations and engaging clients and consumers. These guidelines are key to help hospitals maintain market share during the crisis and return to normal case load as soon as possible after restrictions are lifted. We then discussed some updates to the CARES Act and Families First Coronavirus Response Act as information continues to fluctuate frequently and it can be hard for practice owners to have all of the current information. We covered some examples of employees who would and would not be eligible for FFCRA time off, including those who are choosing to take time off without a medical need to. We answered more questions and ended with guidelines to help veterinary team members deal with the highly emotional clientele they are encountering on a daily basis.
This webinar introduced our first “guest:” our Managing Director of Analytics Oliver Roller. Oliver provided valuable information to help practice owners understand how to keep their hospitals financially solvent during the COVID-19 crisis. This not only included CARES Act items, but also how to control controllable expenses. We also discussed one of the most common questions we have received, what the difference is between layoffs and furloughs and how to manage both. We answered many more submitted questions and addressed an issue that many have forgotten about: avoiding compassion fatigue and managing stress as a practice owner or practice manager.
Our second webinar revisited the Families First Coronavirus Response Act as well as introducing information about the CARES Act. We started by refining the information that had been clarified by the Department of Labor about the FFCRA and answered over thirty common questions about it along the way. We also offered information about how the payroll tax credits were anticipated to work, we well as exemption criteria (hint: most animal hospitals aren’t eligible for exemption). We then dived into the newly signed CARES Act and how it was anticipated to affect animal hospitals and their financial well-being. We explained how curbside service can help a practice keep its doors open, but also outlined the risks associated with it as well as a few mitigation ideas. Finally, we introduced the “rapid-fire” questions segment, in which we answered broad, umbrella questions that addressed specific questions that had been streaming in from iVET360 clients and non-clients, industry professionals, and other webinar registrants. In all, we answered over 100 questions in this webinar.
In our first COVID-19 webinar, we covered what the Families First Coronavirus Response Act meant for hospitals. The webinar was broadcast only one week after the bill was signed, when many hospital owners had numerous questions about how it would affect their practice’s operations. We also outlined the basics to stay HIPPAA compliant when taking employee temperature and some best practices for keeping clients safe, employees safe, patients cared for and the doors open. Our questions and answers were taken directly from the people who enrolled in the webinar, making sure that the information we were providing was relevant to the very large audience.