The Catalyst Council’s pilot Cat Friendly Practice Makeover program boosted veterinary visits and cat revenues for participating practices, the Annapolis, Md.-based organization reported Monday at the Western Veterinary Conference in Las Vegas.
The 17-practice pilot program included staff training and support, client education and the adoption of consistent feline standards of care to increase “cat friendliness” at the practice. Those practices that participated in the program, which ran from March through September 2011, averaged 2.62 percent more cat invoices year over year, 1.34 percent more cat revenue and 3.44 percent more revenue per cat client.
“These results prove that there are reasonable and reliable ways to increase cat veterinary visits,” said Jane Brunt, DVM, executive director of the Catalyst Council. “By making visits to the veterinarian friendlier and less threatening, veterinarians can increase the number of cats they see and help improve their health and well-being.”
During that time, a control group of 447 practices experienced a 2.09 percent decline in cat invoices (net difference of 4.71 percent from the pilot practices), a 0.56 percent decline in cat revenues and a 1.12 percent increase in revenue per cat client.
Before the pilot program, the 17 practices and the control group both were experiencing a trend of declining cat visits during the first quarter of 2011.
“We are extremely pleased with these results; the increase exceeded our expectations and we look forward to expanding the program and offering it to more practices,” said Alexis Nahama, DVM, chair of the Catalyst Council board of directors. “The current results are statistically valid for the holistic view of the pilot program. With a larger group, we could gain insights on the weight each individual tactic had on the final results and provide veterinarians with a more modular toolset of tactics they could select for their individual hospital challenges.”
The group has submitted a full report on the pilot program to a peer-reviewed journal for publication, after which it will more broadly share the results.
Dr. Brunt also unveiled the group’s Top to Top program, an initiative to build local coalitions between animal care and control agencies and veterinarians. The end goal of the program would be to boost the number of cats adopted and the number of veterinary visits, Brunt said.
The program includes a tool kit of materials, including a sample memorandum of understanding, designed to help veterinarians approach shelters and begin building relationships. The Catalyst Council also seeks communities to participate in a pilot program during the second and third quarters of 2012 to benchmark adoption and health statistics to demonstrate the benefits of such collaborations.
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