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Telehealth Examples

Aspiring to Connected Care

“Connected Care” is the integration of digital technologies to enhance and support the veterinarian-client-patient relationship to facilitate continuity of care through improved communication, diagnosis, and monitoring. It is about patient- and client-centered practice. It’s about meeting your clients and your patients where they are, rather than limiting your connection to the few minutes they spend in your exam room.

Digital tools provide an opportunity to identify potential or real health concerns in patients more quickly, to more accurately pinpoint the cause of those concerns, and to initiate earlier intervention, monitor owner compliance with veterinary recommendations, and track patient progress in a more timely and consistent way.

Review the following scenarios. What actions are you already taking? Which others could benefit your practice?

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When clients call to ask for advice and you determine that an in-person visit is not required, consider offering a telehealth consult to allow the client the chance to interact with the doctor and resolve any concerns they may have about their pet.

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When tech-savvy clients express interest in wearable tech for their pets, ask how you might help them interpret the data.

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When considering a specialist consult, offer clients a three-way teleconsult between them, you, and the specialist.

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Ask your diagnostic service providers if they are utilizing artificial intelligence (AI). Offer to send them data (with appropriate security protections) to feed into their AI systems to help make them “smarter” and clinically useful.

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When pets have hospital stays (dentals, surgery, boarding), have your team text clients frequent status updates so they know how their pet is doing.

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When your veterinary healthcare team delivers a specialized service, consider making those paid services and determine which ones might be facilitated as a telehealth service.

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When scheduling follow-up assessments, consider whether a paid video consult would be appropriate and offer that to clients as a convenient means to continuity of care.

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Before clients leave the hospital, be sure to forward-book their next appointment so they know you care about the long-term health of their pet.

Boehringer Ingelheim Animal Health USA Inc., CareCredit, and Merck Animal Health have supported the development of the 2021 AAHA/AVMA Telehealth Guidelines for Small-Animal Practice and resources through an educational grant to AAHA.