Change is inevitable in every aspect of our lives. While significant changes may be uncomfortable, they are the only way to stay relevant and on the cutting edge.
This is true for BluePearl, especially in an ever-evolving industry with new research, technology and standards of care, where collaboration isn’t just an ideal – it’s an essential part of our culture.
Charles Darwin said, “It is the long history of humankind (and animal kind, too) that those who learned to collaborate and improvise most effectively have prevailed.” We must stay vigilant and amplify every voice in our organization for the sake of the next patient that comes through our doors. When it comes to their well-being, we must prevail.
Collaboration leads to excellence.
Our mission at BluePearl is to provide quality care to pets. Effective collaboration is crucial to accomplishing this goal every day for every pet. Those seemingly routine moments foster large-scale change over time – within our organization and throughout the veterinary field.
Collaboration should not just happen between Associates on the ground in our hospitals. To truly create a culture of collaboration, it must start at the top. Leaders at all levels collaborate with our Associates and other departments to ensure BluePearl delivers the highest quality care and stays on the cutting edge of medicine and research. We relentlessly encourage partnership and cooperation between all roles, positions and branches of our organization.
What does it mean to have a “collaborative culture?”
At BluePearl, having a collaborative culture begins with intentionality. We invest in development and communication with every member of our hospitals through mentorship programs, team training sessions and town hall meetings where Associates can share their thoughts and feedback on crucial matters or internal changes. Whether we are discussing a new policy for client check-ins or ideas to streamline the triage process for critical patients, our top priority is gathering opinions and considerations from members of our team.
Prioritizing feedback from every contributor – for both high-level changes and smaller adjustments to our processes – is a crucial building block of our culture. And there are many ways in which we foster collaboration to drive continuous, industry-disrupting improvement throughout BluePearl.
Centralizing science, enabling local art.
As leaders in veterinary medicine, we know the key to exceptional care is to continue learning, researching and advancing our medical knowledge. We must never become complacent with our current procedures or standards of care. To help our organization lead the way in veterinary excellence, we established BluePearl Science.
BluePearl Science coordinates clinical studies that help gauge the efficacy and safety of new drugs, treatments and protocols. Also within the BluePearl Science division is the Study Design and Review Committee (SDRC). This in-house team of experts acts as a collaborative network for veterinarians looking to perform clinical research and answer big questions that have the potential to change the industry.
The SDRC also supports BluePearl interns and residents working toward obtaining residencies or credentials to sit for certifying examinations. The SDRC helps these developing professionals to identify and obtain their board certification requirements to advance their careers.
Leveraging our industry knowledge while empowering our people.
Science-backed best practices are the cornerstone on which our local teams and hospitals build their gold standard of care. BluePearl is a large organization with hospitals throughout the country. We recognize that the standards and resources that work well for one location may not work well for another. Rather than forcing our clinicians and hospital teams to adhere to a blanket approach, we trust them as experts in their field to make the best decisions and implement the right standards for pets and families in their unique area.
While BluePearl is constantly innovating and adopting new industry standards, our local teams and hospitals are not told how to practice, nor are they forced to adapt rigid protocols or hard-and-fast rules when delivering care. Instead, they are empowered and encouraged to interpret and implement these guidelines in ways that best fit their unique team, culture and practice.
Driving change within.
Medical quality initiatives to improve veterinary care.
BluePearl clinicians may also participate to support workstreams and contribute their knowledge and expertise to organization-wide improvements. Not only does this give our clinicians an opportunity to improve care for BluePearl patients, it also allows them to support their fellow Associates.
These workstreams can strengthen and enhance many aspects of veterinary care, such as the well-being of ER clinicians, biosecurity practices and other facets of medical quality. Clinicians at BluePearl have already developed several medical quality initiatives, making it easier for Associates everywhere to provide effective, quality care.
Some of these initiatives include I-PASS, a patient handoff initiative to support effective communication and teamwork, and the Checklist Initiative to provide safety checklists that improve anesthesia safety. Associates also developed the CPR Preparedness Initiative to ensure every Associate can provide life-saving interventions without hesitation.
Supporting and empowering our veterinary teams.
We firmly believe it is critical to provide support and opportunities for career growth to veterinary professionals, no matter what position they hold or what role they aspire to achieve. That’s why we’ve implemented professional development programs, such as CareerTrax, to empower our Associates to provide the best care possible while building sustainable, rewarding careers.
CareerTrax is a unique tool that helps our Associates take control of their professional future. Not only does this system monitor their skill set development to level up their career, but it also offers them complete transparency regarding the requirements for each role, level and specialty within BluePearl.
Providing a tiered skill system extends the career path options for every Associate in our organization. It puts the power in their hands to build the career they truly want while laying out a clear path to get there.
Collaboration is a two-way street; we want all our Associates to know they are supported and empowered to create a bright future. While other organizations leave it entirely up to their employees to define and pursue their development, growth and advancement are a team effort from day one at BluePearl.
Building and strengthening our network.
Collaboration drives innovation. It’s as simple as that. Because BluePearl is home to some of the brightest, most talented individuals in our industry, we have created a strong network of leaders to share ideas and inspire change across our organization.
The Vet2Vet Network is a dedicated collaboration tool for veterinarians to consult with other clinicians and specialists across the network of hospitals. It’s an invaluable resource for discussing specific cases, developing mentoring programs for all types of Associates and sharing hospital-specific best practices with other hospitals throughout our nationwide network. While we can learn from outside sources, learning from each other is one of our greatest assets.
“These are clinicians in our hospitals; they are subject matter experts in their own right,” said Richard Stone, Vice President of Medicine. “And they get to come together with other subject matter experts from various hospitals to help us achieve a consensus and chart a course for what the best practice would be in a scenario where maybe that best practice doesn’t exist.”
Our clinicians benefit greatly from professional and personal relationships with other specialists and doctors. Building these relationships with peers can help guide their career paths and reinvigorate their love for their work, potentially avoiding burnout in an era where veterinary burnout is at an all-time high. Innovation and personal growth make a winning combination for the extraordinary people we are privileged to work with.
Collaboration will always be at the center of our culture. Fostering this mindset and environment will ultimately lead to better care and more positive patient outcomes. We are a leader in our industry, but only because of the brilliant minds and compassionate hearts of our Associates. With collaboration across teams, departments and hospitals, we can avoid becoming complacent while maintaining the high level of excellence pet owners expect.