How to Achieve Best Practice through 5 Steps of Preventive Medicine (High Level Compliance Based on their Education and Knowledge)
World Small Animal Veterinary Association World Congress Proceedings, 2011
Henry K. Yoo, DVM, MSc, MBA
Executive Consultant, Infinity Management Consulting & Co, Santa Monica, CA, USA


The most under utilized element in veterinary practice is the talents of technical staff as well as the para-professional members working in the practice. There are two choices for the management. One is to respect the presence of staff through their active participation in the practice benefiting from their knowledge and experiences as well as self-confidence being displayed. The other is passively use their physical presence as assistants following the directions of the management and doctors. This class will be devoted to methods of maximizing the staff and their knowledge through educating the staff through the tools of preventive medicine in a structured way. As a result they will take home these tools to expand the horizon of client education by using 5 steps of preventive medicine day in and day out.


Main purpose of this article is to educate the staff in all aspect of preventive medicine in an effort to help the clients to understand and recognize the wellness vs. illness. This will enable clients to seek for help prior to the incidents that their pets are reaching the point of no return.


Preventive medicine costs much less to the clients as well as being less aggravating to the patients and clients by lessening the physical pain and emotional disturbance. The focus of preventive medicine is in the education for the staff as well as clients. Knowing the principle that "Educated person becomes more responsible and responsive", the importance of client education should be further emphasized.

Definition of 5 Steps

These are the structured client education formula in preventing illness though knowledge on proactively and recognizing early symptoms of potential illness far in advance. These Steps are as follows.

1.  Regular Examination: Importance of annual or biannual examination should be emphasized. The age of pets vs. human is one of the best ways to have the client recognize the speed of disease in progress. Vaccine titers and immunity should be explained. Base-line blood work and annual blood test are also emphasized especially if the patients are becoming senior crossing over 6–7 years of age.

2.  Nutrition and Skin Care through Diet: There is so much confusing factors that dilute thought patterns of the clients. It is our duty to inform the clients the best diet available in the market for the specific need of the pets. Holistic vs. natural has been items of interest to many and this should be properly addressed to the clients. Skin and hair coat is the part of the body reflecting the nutrition the most.

3.  Endo and Ecto Parasite: Seasonal parasitic prevention, as well as year around parasite to be pointed out in terms of prevention. Opportunists as dead end host should be explained when it comes to heartworm, fleas, tape worms and other kind of skin irritating parasitic agents.

4.  Dental: This is where show and tell needs to be implemented for the visual effect to the clients. Grade 1234 should be mentioned in explaining the degree of the problems. Preventive Rx and dental procedures are crucial part of preventive medicine. Dental Model may be an important show and tell subject compared to actual oral health of the patients

5.  Behavioral: House breaking, behavioral dominance as well as separation anxiety should be addressed so those clients understand that PPVC may deal with this area of consulting. Clomicalm may be explained as an available agent in an event that the patients need behavioral modification.

Others, if needed, to be included as an optional item i.e., feline hairball, elective surgery, emergency information, etc.


The first step of the enactment of 5 steps are in the total agreement of all staff to join in. No staff should be left out in the education and training so that they can all participates in educating the clients in turn. Desire to out-perform the normal duty in educating clients are the first step to launch a successful 5 steps of preventive medicine;. These are as follows.

1.  Total Agreement by all staff through self-motivated meetings

2.  Understanding the purpose of the process and the outcomes as a final products

3.  Following through the all 5 steps through role plays

4.  Preparation of 5-step tray to include all products that can be preventive product

5.  Practice to incorporate these information in SOAP record

6.  Enactment with the clients and building confidence.

7.  Circulation of questionnaire to confirm the satisfaction by clients

8.  Discussion the outcome at staff meetings

9.  Final quantification of the outcome

10.  Reward for the outcome

Success Factors

1.  Strong motivation to enhance the quality of medicine through client education

2.  Personal determination to learn and teach

3.  Understanding the Rx and medication, benefits of each products

4.  Understanding the disadvantages of not using the recommended products

5.  Following through with the clients on following visit ( via SOAP record)

6.  Quantification of the outcome

Expected Outcomes

1.  Enhance education level of staff as well as client

2.  Enhance level of confidence through their self motivated action of educating clients and witnessing their acceptance

3.  Enhanced client's compliance as they become more responsive and responsible pet owners through the knowledge of preventive medicine

4.  Frequent visit and increased counsel by the clients

5.  Increase quality of medicine and service, which will eventually upgrade the general performance


Motivation to implement the 5 steps comes from the compassion of the staff to give the best care to the patients through educating the clients. End result of the 5 steps is intentional and conscious process of pet care enacted through the clients' participation in the practice of quality care. Preventive medicine cost much less and less aggravating both to the clients and patients. Most of all, through this process of Preventive Medicine, staff is not only responding to the healthcare need of the clients but guide them proactively for the best care of the pets in advance.


Speaker Information
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Henry K. Yoo, DVM, MSc, MB
Infinity Medical Consulting & Co.
Santa Monica, CA, USA