How to get the most out of your veterinary data with a performance review call

by By Katie Sorrell

10 min read


The author, Katie Sorrell, holding a puppy in a veterinary officeI was a veterinary technician and practice manager for 10+ years before coming over to the world of veterinary data at VetSuccess. I fully understand the day-to-day struggles of running a veterinary practice. I know that your time is precious and your data needs to be easy to absorb and actionable. I also know that the best way to discover insights lurking in your data is through a method of inquiry that’s wildly popular here at VetSuccess and beautifully simple. It’s known as the What? So what? Now what? method and it’s the main focus of our performance review calls.

What is a performance review call?

A performance review call is a one-on-one session with a VetSuccess expert to walk through your specific reports and dashboards. We will spend the session focusing on what you need most from your VetSuccess products. The goal is to help your practice succeed and provide valuable insight into your data. 

Performance Review Calls can be scheduled at any point in time while you are signed up with VetSuccess. Maybe you are a new customer with reports you have never seen before. Maybe you have a new practice manager who would like training on your Daily Dashboard. Maybe you have brought on a new associate and want to track how they are doing. 

Whatever the scenario, a performance review  all is the perfect way to dig into your data and find ways to take action on the information in your VetSuccess products.

The What? So what? Now what? method

Two speech bubble icons, one with a graph in it, representing data discussion in the performance review callDuring your Performance Review Call, we’ll utilize one of our favorite methods the What? So what? Now what? model. It’s unbelievably simple yet effective.

As we walk through your reports or dashboard, we will consider three key questions: What? So what? Now what?

1: What? What is this metric measuring?

If your reports or dashboard are new to you, we will take some time to review each metric and what it means. We can discuss how the numbers are pulled from your practice management software and how we define certain terms. For example, what constitutes an Active Patient, New Client, Wellness Bloodwork, or Internal Parasite Protection? 

Understanding what you’re looking at and what a metric means is the foundation for getting the most out of your data.

The what? So what? Now what? circular flow chart2: So what? Is this data good or bad?

Now that we know what we’re looking at, we can explore your performance and what your numbers mean contextually. This is where benchmarks and trendlines really come into play. They help us understand if your numbers are good or bad depending on your goals, your past performance, and the performance of your peers. 

So what helps put your performance into context so that you can see the deeper story of your data and not just numbers. 

3: Now what? What do I do with this information?

Now that you have the full story, we can begin exploring what the next steps would be regarding this metric. Does it need improvement? Are there opportunities here? What changes can be implemented in the practice in order to increase or decrease this number? We can discuss goal setting, what a realistic increase would look like, and how to get all staff members on board with the changes you plan to implement.

Now what is where the rubber meets the road, where you figure out how to take action based on what you’re seeing in the data. 

The method in action

Other than the time a parrot joined in on a performance teview call (true story!), my favorite calls are when a practice owner or manager is able to identify an unknown trend at the practice.

The author, Katie Sorrell, holding a pigeon in a veterinary officeFor example, once during a performance review call, the managing doctor and I were examining a revenue per patient number broken down into standard revenue categories. We noticed that the practice’s exam metric was significantly below the national benchmark.

After talking through why this might be, it turned out the practice was dramatically discounting their exam fees! When a patient was due for medication and bloodwork, the practice would give a complimentary exam because otherwise, they felt the bloodwork wouldn’t be done at all. This was severely affecting their bottom line, let alone diminishing the value of their services in their clients’ eyes. 

Stories like this are not so uncommon. Since many of our reports and dashboards are able to isolate trends by provider, this enables larger practices to identify which doctors may be discounting services, or which doctors excel at performing more diagnostics and driving revenue.

Is it time for a performance Review Call?

An icon of an office telephone with a question mark on itLike many products, VetSuccess reports and dashboards evolve over time. A Performance Review Call is a great time to go over these changes and take a look at new features and new products. In addition to the metrics on the main pages of our reports, we also include many appendices that make it easy to audit your reports, select a sample of clients or patients you would like to reach out to, or identify which products and services are contributing to your practice’s growth. 

In short, it’s always a good time for a Performance Review Call. So let’s have a chat and dig into your data! I love hearing how practices are doing and supporting you in all the creative ways you’re building your business.

Katie Sorrell

Katie Sorrell

Originally from Nova Scotia, Katie moved to Toronto to complete her undergraduate degree in art and art history. During that time, she took a part-time job as a kennel attendant and never looked back. Over the next decade, Katie worked tirelessly in almost every role a veterinary clinic has to offer. From client communication to inventory management, from cat wrangling to hamster anesthesia, Katie's varied experience in the veterinary world is certainly an asset in her current role as Customer Success Manager for VetSuccess.

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