How to Leverage Telemedicine for Your Veterinary Practice

At a time when social distancing is of the utmost importance, so is staying in contact with your clients. Veterinary telemedicine gives your practice the opportunity to keep your clients happy while also keeping their pets healthy and well cared for. 
Due to the current pandemic caused by COVID-19, more and more practices are opting for telemedicine services so they can continue to maintain a relationship with clients. 
The Food and Drug Administration is easing restrictions for veterinary professionals for the time being so that pets and other animals can still be examined, monitored, and receive prescriptions for their medication. 
The FDA suspending its current rules allows veterinary professionals to extend their expertise to their clients while they’re at home. Telemedicine for veterinarians can be simple and easy for everyone involved. If you’re considering using telemedicine at your business, we’re here to discuss a few ways that you can take advantage of these services during this unprecedented time. 
veterinary telemedicine

What is VCPR? 

Before you begin with telemedicine, it’s important to know what you’re dealing with in every patient. A term that describes this is Veterinarian-Client-Patient Relationship, or VCPR. In short, this term means that you know the animal well enough to diagnose and come up with a proper treatment plan because you’ve had the chance to physically examine the pet at your vet clinic.
Learn More: How to Utilize Telemedicine Services at Your Practice
If the pet has been to your office on more than one occasion, then you have established a relationship with it, along with its owner and already have medical records on file. This means you’re aware of the needs of the pet and can provide care.
VCPR is required by law in many states in the U.S. because it makes a significant difference when you are familiar with the patient and their history. If you have established a VCPR with a pet, you can work remotely with the use of technology to continue to deliver treatment. 

Telemedicine for Veterinarians

The methods in which you deliver treatment to your patients can also be done in more than one way. You can communicate with your clients via: 

  • Video conference
  • Email
  • Telephone
  • Live chats
  • Text messages

You and your client can decide which method of communication is the best based on their circumstances. If you need to examine their pet, then video conferencing would be the best option. If they just have a quick question or need general advice, then a telephone call, email or live chat should suffice. 
Read More: Sending Follow Up Emails to Build Patient Loyalty

6 Use Cases for Veterinary Telemedicine 

With telemedicine, you can still work to provide your clients and their pets with the care they need. Here are some ways to do this at your practice. 
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1. Triage

You’ll be able to assess an animal’s health via video consultation and determine whether they need emergency care or not. You determine how urgent the situation is and whether the owner needs to bring their pet in to see you, a veterinary professional, or another specialist. 

2. Hospice Care

telemedicine services
Watching a pet’s health decline is never easy for a pet owner. If an owner chooses hospice care, it can make the process a little less gut-wrenching because they see your veterinary staff as a support system. 
If a patient is in your care, effective communication with the family can be extremely helpful in assisting them through the grieving process. 
Weekly or daily check-ins can be positive for the pet and its owners. You can send them photographs, emails with updates, or videos about their pet’s condition.

3. Post-Operative Care

Has a pet recently undergone a surgical procedure? If so, you understand that they must be monitored in order to make sure their recovery is going according to plan. Whether that’s monitoring if the pet is getting too much physical activity to properly heal, taking its medication, or observing the incision for infection, they need to be examined via video. 
You can perform a follow-up and see how the pet has been doing since they had the surgery. Every procedure is different for every pet and their recovery depends on their age and condition so it will vary, but telemedicine gives you the chance to check on them while they go through this process. 

4. Dermatologic Conditions

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If a pet has any sort of skin disorder that needs to be looked at in order to accurately determine their condition, you can use telemedicine to do so. 
For example, a client may have a pet that has a common skin condition like dry, flaky skin, allergic dermatitis, yeast dermatitis, mange, hair loss, etc., and needs your medical advice on how to care for it. In this case, look at the pet’s condition and diagnose them with the correct medication using a video call.

5. Electronic Prescriptions

Instead of using the traditional method of medical prescriptions, like receiving the information on a piece of paper, with telemedicine, you can digitally fill a prescription. You should first check your state’s requirements to make sure you follow the proper guidelines to provide your patients with a prescription for their condition. 

6. Behavior Issues or Training

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Whether it’s non-stop barking, destroying furniture, digging, pulling on the leash, or chewing up things around the house, some owners have difficulties training their pet to behave. 
Although they may not be able to physically come into your office, you can help them virtually get to the root of the problem and stop their pet from behaving that way. They’ll have access to expert advice and tips from you on the best way to improve their pet’s behavior. 

Veterinary Telemedicine Benefits 

Adopting telemedicine at your veterinary practice can be cost-effective, reduce canceled appointments, keep you in contact with patients, and decrease exposure to potentially contagious individuals. So, what are you waiting for? Now is the perfect opportunity to begin utilizing these services to give care to your pet patients. 

Do you want to get started with telemedicine? 

Learn how you can get your first month of telemedicine services for free and continue helping your pet patients remotely when you click here to get started or give us a call at 800.792.8384.

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