Veterinary Telehealth: What is it and How can it Help me?
Telehealth is a broad term that covers the communication of medical data in a format other than face-to-face. It utilizes various technology tools such as Text, Email, Chat, Phone or Video conferencing. Virtual Care is the communication between a veterinary professional and a client about their pet. This can be advice, client education, triage and consultation. Most veterinary hospitals are already providing aspects of Telehealth and Virtual Care, but new tools are available to integrate and manage these services much more efficiently.
How can Telehealth help you in your veterinary hospital?
Staffing shortages have impacted veterinary medicine in recent years even as demand for services has increased. Clients want more access to the veterinary team and phones are ringing ‘off the hook’. Telehealth can help you offer more to clients without more hiring costs.
How can telehealth help with this?
Dr. Linda Speizer is certified in virtual care telehealth solutions. She can help you use telehealth tools to improve the efficiency of your veterinary team, allowing them to focus on in-house patients and clients (without working more hours!).
It’s too complicated! There is no time to learn all the different platforms and know which one is best.
Dr. Speizer understands that there is no one-size-fits-all telehealth technical solution to the crunch of phone calls, messages, emails and veterinary access requests. Plus, you may not want or need all the bells and whistles at first. You may need two-way texting to help with curbside appointments (Consider PetDesk). You may want to use an app that works seamlessly with your website (Consider the Canadian Smart.vet). Or you need an all-in-one app that clients will use from start to finish through an appointment, including payment platforms (Consider PetsApp). Dr. Speizer will help you find and implement the proper program or platform that will fit your hospital. Then, she will train your staff to use the technology that will work for your hospital and improve efficiency for everyone.
How is it done?
Dr. Speizer evaluates the current set up and workflows in the veterinary hospital. She finds areas that are causing the most bottlenecks for staff and for clients (i.e., telephone volume for curbside visits). Different technical solutions are reviewed. For example, implementing two-way texting and / or a triage algorithm for front desk staff to use to handle phone, text, and email requests. Next, we develop training documents for staff and then implement the new technology. After the first steps are mastered, other telehealth techniques can be added, such as payment options for curbside clients through a platform or video consultations.
A ‘cookie-cutter’ approach to virtual telehealth solutions does not work. Every hospital is different, with different needs. If you need help evaluating, implementing, or training staff on new telehealth solutions for your veterinary practice, contact Dr. Speizer. She’ll be with you from start to finish.