It’s been well over a year since the start of the pandemic when veterinary clinics had to shift operations from in-person care to distanced services. From drive-thru visits to telemedicine care, veterinary practices had to pivot in order to maintain top-quality care while protecting the health of their staff as well as the health of pets and their owners.
It is expected that nearly 75% of the country will be vaccinated for COVID-19 by the summer. However, with some areas of the country making more progress than others, it can be difficult to decide how ‘back to normal’ clinics should be.
Identify the Positive Changes of Virtual Communications
Before rushing to have filled waiting rooms at your practice, identify the digital aspects that enhanced care during last year’s telehealth boon. One way to do this is to survey clients about the remote care they received. How was it was beneficial for them?
Ask your clients what they loved about the ability to get access to their pet’s health records online or receiving reminders and updates by SMS text. If your clinic did not provide these services, ask them if they would prefer them as an option moving forward.
According to a survey conducted by the AVMA, over three-quarters of clinics asked clients to wait in their cars for safer animal drop-off and pick-up. While this protocol may not have been ideal for some pet owners, using cloud-based communications with clients to update them on the health status of pets provided peace of mind. In fact, the majority of people under the age of 50 communicate primarily by text, and this is the fastest-growing demographic of pet owners.
Maintain Some Telehealth Options to Limit Exposure
Once you’ve gathered your responses, decide which virtual and distanced options you want to keep (or even add) to your practice’s day-to-day operations. Ideally, you can provide both in-person and drive-up care options as well as consistent digital communications and file management for all of your clients.
For clients who want to bring their pets into your clinic, be sure to remind them about wearing masks and being transparent about any symptoms they may be experiencing. There was a 15% rise in animal adoptions last year, so there will likely be many new and first-time pet owners visiting your facility.
Communicate With Your Clients
As your practice adapts to the changing public health situation, be sure to always communicate expectations and changes to your clients. By using a cloud-based veterinary software that can manage not only pet medical records but automate online messaging, your clinic can ensure its staff and clients are on the same page.
Being in close communication with your clients means that they can feel empowered to take care of their pet’s health.
Ready to switch to a cloud-based system to provide easier, safer care to your clients? Request a demo to see why Onward Vet is the premier software for top clinics and hospitals.