When health concerns make it difficult for clients to bring their pets into the clinic for examination or diagnosis, telemedicine can help. While it isn’t quite as comprehensive as an in-person session with your client and patient, it’s an excellent tool for providing relief to nervous pet owners, offering simple solutions to common ailments, and giving recommendations at a safe distance. Here are a few things vets should know about using telemedicine.
Telemedicine is extremely helpful, especially in times of global health concerns, but you won’t be able to get the same level of information or understanding that you would in person. To that point, most veterinarians will not prescribe or even confidently diagnose health concerns over the phone, unless they’re route or obvious. This is designed to protect both your clinic and your patient.
As with your vet practice in real life, telemedicine has many protections in place to ensure that the patient and the animal health expert are safe and in compliance with state and government regulation. It’s important to familiarize yourself with these laws and guidelines so you don’t accidentally overstep.
Much of the help you’ll be providing via telemedicine is about follow-up care for pets post-surgery or lifestyle change. You’ll be doing a lot of connecting with patients you already know well, which is an excellent way to continue your relationship, monitor the ongoing health and recovery of your patients, and decide when or if it’s necessary for them to come in for an in-person appointment.
Of course, it’s always necessary to provide comprehensive and accessible information to pet owners to ensure maximum care for their pets, but it’s especially important over the phone. You’ll be relying on their testimonial about their pet’s health, and if you ask any questions during the call, then their answers will help you to decide what steps to take next. With telemedicine, you’ll want to take that extra time to ensure that communication is completely clear.
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