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Your Client’s First Digital Veterinary Consultation: Before, During, and After

Telemedicine has exploded in the wake of COVID-19. It’s also allowed veterinary clinics to continue providing service, and clients overwhelmingly report positive experiences with digital consultations. We’re here to explain to vets how they can use telemedicine to keep their clinics going and their patients fully supported.

Even if you can’t meet every pet’s needs through a TeleTails session alone, digital platforms are essential to helping vets lessen their intense workloads and get paid for their time.

But maybe you’re not feeling confident about delivering care via a video call. We’ve all had a recent crash course in video conferencing (thanks, 2020!), and sometimes those calls don’t go as smoothly as we’d hope. As someone who truly believes in the power of telemedicine, I want vets and clients using TeleTails for the first time to have a positive experience. To help make that happen, I have a few simple rules for before, during, and after the call.

Set Up a Successful Call

Put your client at ease and bring the vibe of your office into the video consultation. If you wear a white coat in exam rooms, wear it during your TeleTails appointment. It reinforces the idea that this is closer to a house call than a phone call.

Try to conduct the video consultation in a quiet, well-lit space — it’s important that your client be able to clearly see your face. Also, use headphones with a mic if possible. It will ensure that you sound clean and crisp to your clients, and cut down on background noise that could create a distraction.

Using your phone or a tablet? Your arms will get tired if you have to hold it up for several sessions, so get something to create a stand for your phone — a tripod if you’re fancy, or a stack of books if you’re down to DIY.

Here’s a link to an affordable, easy-to-use tripod that I like to use for client calls.

Before the video consultation:

This may sound obvious, but make sure your staff communicates to your client that their pet must be present for the video consultation. As you’ve experienced, some pets are more rambunctious than others, and your client may have to make special arrangements to get them camera-ready.

Be sure that your client is ready to share specific information, like what medications their pet takes and their current diet. Having this information handy will make the call more efficient and help you to quickly address the problem.

During the video consultation:

Just as you would in the office, make sure that you’re able to give your client all of your attention. Make sure phones and other devices are put away so you can focus on your patient for the duration of the consultation.

That said, life happens! If there is an emergency that you need to address, just make sure to mute your audio and turn off your camera before attending to anything unrelated to your call.

Don’t be afraid to ask your clients to help you out! When the call starts, have them adjust their camera or turn on their light.

Before you get started with the consultation, have your staff make sure your client knows their pet should be on a leash. Then, you can guide them through lifting their pet’s lip or showing you how their pet walks, and not worry that their pet might wander away.

As you end the call, be sure to check to make sure you’ve answered all of your client’s questions. It may help to have them tell you in their own words the treatment plan you’ve laid out.

Most of all, don’t worry if you aren’t able to solve everything during the video consultation. Even if their pet still needs an in-person visit, you’ll be able to handle their concern more efficiently, and will hopefully be able to put their mind at ease in the meantime.

After the video consultation:

After the session, use TeleTails to log all your notes from the consultation. These can be seamlessly integrated into the patient’s file so their medical records are always up to date.

You can also use the TeleTails platform to schedule a follow-up appointment or set a task or reminder for other members of your team. For example, you can ask the front desk to have a medication ready for the client to pick-up, all in one easy-to-use interface.

Lastly, your client will automatically receive an email and notification that the consultation has been resolved. You can use TeleTails’ integrated payment system to ensure that your payment for the video consultation went through.

Put your feet up, and rest easy knowing that your practice is on the cutting edge of veterinary science. Welcome to the future! We think you’ll like it here.

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