Podcast Episode #1 – Getting the Most Out of Life as an Equine Practice Owner

This week, we had our kick off podcast with 4 incredible panelists for the HVMS podcast series “The Better Equine Practice”.

It was an energizing interview with Dr. Daizie Labelle (Petaluma Equine, CA), Dr. Dawn Bloomer (von Bluecher, Blea, Hunkin, Inc, CA), Dr. Leann Kuebelbeck (Brandon Equine Medical Center, FL), and Dr. Stacey Cordivano (Clay Creek Equine Services, PA). They talked about being mothers, practice owners, living life, and building careers that last.


Their top tips included items around the following central themes:

  1. Embrace technology, go paperless
  2. Ask for help
  3. Create something that works for you and forget what other people think of you

So today, I’m going to share some new tech and ideas you can check out to help take these wise female leaders’ advice!


  • Google calendar know how: in our family and at work, if it isn’t in our shared online calendar, it isn’t happening. With reminders, alerts, and invitations to ensure everyone has a copy, this has got to be the easiest way to keep everyone on track.
  • Gmail add-ons: I’ve been experimenting with Gmail Email Templates available from cloud HQ. It’s a free Chrome and Gmail extension where you can create templates for common emails, personalize them and send them in a jiffy. I tried it out to send aftercare instructions, and it makes beautiful templates and is sooo easy to make and send.
  • Voice recognition software: If you have HVMS with built in voice recognition software, you’ll know there’s voice recognition software to create records on the double, even dictating them while you’re examining the horse and keeping the owner in the know while creating their records. If you don’t have HVMS, grab your Voice Memos app on your apple device for a free version to at least take advantage of your thoughts on a case in the moment. This is also amazing for making meeting notes at staff meetings or remembering tasks.
  • To Do lists: AnyList, Todoist, and others like it are top contenders for keeping track of your action items list. Look for one that has lists that can be accessed by multiple people. Make a quick list for your office staff to restock your truck and they can have it ready for you when you pull into the driveway. Or make a list of items you used on each farm as you use them, calling them out verbally using Siri or taking a photo of your vet tray and adding it to the list for billing later.
  • Laboratory efficiency: Seek out a lab that provides electronic submissions that you can create via your mobile device. Get the owner to fill in their address/phone and horse info while you package the sample, and stop filling them out when you get back to the clinic. Chances are, your lab will be able to provide you with much better results if you provide them with accurate, legible information as well. Hot tip: ensure you always provide the culture source (uterine, wound etc) and age of the animal with bacteriology samples as labs plate samples using 30+ different protocols based on these parameters. The very best is being able to integrate your lab results with your software, something HVMS does really well.
  • Life and home interface: make sure you aren’t wasting time doing tasks you hate at home if you can avoid it. Click and collect groceries and grocery deliveries have been drastically improved as a result of COVID; let’s take advantage! Wash and fold services are also available for laundry for very reasonable rates, and some companies will even pick up and drop off. Meal delivery and takeout services can get you a healthy dinner on the double. We seek out healthy pre-prepared meals 1-2 times a week that are delivered to our house in lieu of meal boxes, since I would rather not spend 30-40 minutes making dinner when my two kids are apparently starving (despite 8 million snacks) at that crucial after work time. We also eat simple meals that repeat a lot, especially for breakfast and dinners. Hot tip: this method is also highly recommended for maintaining health eating, as studies show people who maintain healthy eating habits tend to be most successful with this technique. I also keep an emergency lunch in my vehicle for those days when you’re happy to get out the door on time in one piece. A protein bar, cup of soup packet, or crackers and PB make excellent additions.
  • Health apps for the equine vet: Track your sleep with the Oura ring (recommended by Dr. Dawn Bloomer), or your Apple Watch (the new update Sept 15 has this capability). Garmin’s watches allow you to swim, track laps, and do intervals with them, making getting a quick high intensity interval (HIIT) workout in simple if you have 20 mins between calls. The Whoop band is also pretty neat, tracking your efforts AND providing workouts!

What has been helpful for you? As busy professionals, we’re only as strong as our community. I’d love to know what has helped you be more efficient and healthy.


– Dr. Melanie Barham, Host of The Better Equine Vet Practice

Business Infusions is producing the Better Equine Vet Practice limited series podcast because we want to engage in conversations with equine veterinarians; to better understand their problems, and to connect an inspiring group of practitioners who can share their learnings and successes in practice innovation.


If your equine veterinary practice needs help with increasing efficiency and productivity, please contact us for a free demo and free consultation of HVMS software.


“HVMS practice management software emerged from a practice that had been operating for over 50 years. The practice owner identified a fundamental need to compensate their veterinarians more appropriately for professional services, and capture missed and lost billings. One of the mantras of our Chairman and Founder is that the further the vet walks away in time and space from the patient and the owner, the more they are going to give up in time and billable hours that are really valuable to them. With this type of approach, we’ve built a product that creates efficiency and productivity in the practice and still allows the flexibility to practice in different ways.”


Scott Pickard, CEO of Business Infusions, owners of HVMS software.

About the Podcast

This Podcast is designed for any member of your Team and anyone who wants to improve their practice efficiency and have more time for the things they care about. All members of your veterinary team are personally invited! We will continue to notify you as a valued member of our HVMS family whenever a podcast comes out so you can be first to know. Share with your team, discuss at a staff meeting, or just listen wherever you are!


Interested in being a guest in an upcoming episode? Please contact us hvms@businessinfusions.com

About the Host

Dr. Melanie Barham is a veterinarian, FEI veterinary delegate, entrepreneur, digital marketer and university instructor. With a background in eventing and performance horse practice in the US and Canada, Dr Barham currently dedicates her career efforts to the Ontario Animal Health Network, Global Veterinary Career Summit and strategic business consulting.


Interested in being a guest in an upcoming episode? Please contact us hvms@businessinfusions.com

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