Not every veterinary practice solution is statistically proven. This one is.

by Martin Traub-Werner / June 27, 2018


Puppies and kittens. They’re simply the best. There’s only one thing nearly as great as puppies and kittens and that’s statistics. I know statistics aren’t as cute but they let us make and test our hypotheses so that we can be confident the results we’re seeing aren’t random; in other words, we can repeat them. And that’s the difference between a veterinary practice solution and a proven veterinary practice solution. With a proven practice solution you can feel extra confident you’re doing the right thing for all those adorable puppies and kittens.

There are many practice solutions out there that are good for business

However, few of them are backed by stats and science. That is why I’m so excited about the work VetSuccess is doing to help increase fecal testing in practices. We’ve developed a practice solution that’s backed by very real statistics and data science.

BMDM direct mail reminder program animation

Here’s the punch line:

When — as a supplement to your regular wellness exam reminder — you mail a second reminder that is specific to fecal testing and includes a sample bag for easy collection, the following things happen at least 95 times out of 100:

  • Fecal exams increase by 55%
  • Pet owners are 135% more likely to choose to have a fecal exam
  • Revenue from fecal exams increases by 57%
  • Wellness exam revenue increases by 12%
  • Patients that come into the practice are 58% more likely to purchase at least one vaccine
  • Patients who come to the practice are 28% more likely to make a parasiticide purchase (note: p=0.08)

And I’m not just saying that. It’s proven!

“A veterinary practice solution that’s proven,” you say? “But how?”

By science! And here’s how it came about. Dr. Reed Stevens is a Cornell grad and a friend of VetSuccess. He owns and operates two practices in Buffalo: a lower-cost practice aimed at providing essential care, and a higher-touch practice focused on preventive care.

Dr. Stevens has always had a hunch that fecal testing is a gateway to conversations about parasiticides and preventive care. In his own words: 'Fecal exams are the trifecta -- they’re relatively low cost, critically important for the health of the patient and the family, and good for the business. If I can add just one more thing to any visit, it’s a fecal exam.' Click To Tweet

We studied data, and we studied it hard

In 2016, VetSuccess begged and cajoled our friends at Elanco to lend us some of their statistical heavyweights. They generously agreed. We married their talents with ours and studied data from almost 1,000 practices, looking at 220 million transactions from 7.5 million canine patients over three years. That’s a lot of data!

BMDM experiment statistics

Guess what we discovered? You guessed it, didn’t you? Yes, our study revealed a significant correlation between fecal testing and overall practice revenue! Now we needed to find out if that relationship was causal, meaning do fecal exams actually cause the increase in revenue?

Comic showing causation vs correlation

Hypothesis: Fecal exams cause increases in practice revenue

To test our hypothesis, we dusted off our textbooks and conducted an experiment!

Methodology:

  1. Identify practices willing to participate in our experiment.
  2. Target appropriate canine patients in their practice management software. Split the patients in the participating practices into two groups — a test group and a control group.
  3. Send pet owners in the test group a supplemental mailing with an educational letter and a sample collection bag.
  4. Track pet owners in the control group but don’t send them a supplemental mailing.

Findings:

I shared a bunch of results at the top of this post, including a 55% increase in fecal exams but remember — we were out to see if fecal exams cause an increase in practice revenue. Was our hypothesis correct? Let’s just say our friend Dr. Stevens was bang on:

Average incremental revenue of almost $20 per patient mailed and $40 per patient visit, for every mailer sent!

It takes time and money to prove a hypothesis

As you can tell, we climbed a few mountains to reach the above conclusion, but it was well worth the effort. I mean, a single  letter that delivers a boost in revenue, improved compliance and better patient health — that’s everything you could ever want for your practice, right?

With our newest veterinary practice solution, the proof is in the numbers

Proven solutions like this don’t come along every day. On that note, I shamelessly invite you to check out BMDM — our fully automated, fecal reminder program. Did I happen to mention it’s backed by statistics?

Laptop showing the BMDM veterinary practice solution report

Martin Traub-Werner is the dedicated founder and CEO of VetSuccess. His number one focus is providing the most value possible to VetSuccess clients  – and he loves to talk data so don’t hesitate to contact him. Martin can be reached at martin@vetsuccess.com

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