TIPS AND ADVICE
Telemedicine to the rescue-Today's Veterinary Business https://todaysveterinarybusiness.com/telemedcine-to-the-rescue/
Veterinary Telehealth: What is it, Where Are We, What's Next?
The State of the VCPR
Telemedicine nears a crossroads
1. At my practice, I give the first surgery recheck consult for free. Or you can just give the first consult for free. This allows the client to download the app and see how easy it is to use!
2. Most vets will charge on a case by case basis. This means, some of the consults are charged, and some consults are done for free. In my practice, if I ask a client to send me a picture or video or text update, I may not charge. The really quick questions and answers I may not charge if they are a good client, or I may leave a consult open if I know it may take several days to resolve (having daily exchanges) before charging the client.
3. At my practice, I charge a consult fee (which is similar to my recheck exam fee in house) and this is $40. If I ask the client to bring the pet in for the remainder of the exam, then I charge the remainder of the exam in the hospital.
4. After hours or in-depth consults will range from $35-$75.
5. Some clinics have a monthly fee they charge per client for either unlimited usage or set number of usages.
6. Some clinics only use a videochat feature which is charged per consult, per 10 minute increments, or case by case depending on the subject and length.
*I think it worth noting that if you are a large hospital, you may have a telemedicine fee, and also charge a full in person exam fee. This is for those situations where one doctor may be doing the online consult, and another doctor does the in person exam.
Ways to market your telemedicine
1. First check to see if the company you are using has marketing material and if they charge to help you market the app or if it is included when signing up.
2. Some companies are now able to brand your clinic with the app so find out if that is available and if it is something you want them to do for you.
3. Word of Mouth! Talk to your clients. Everyone who walks in your hospital gets information on your new communication tool. Have your front staff talk about it, your technicians in the exam, and finally the doctors.
4. Put information on your in house invoices.
5. Use push notifications through your app if you are already using one like Vet2Pet.
6. Email your clients.
7. Use social media outlets.
8. Have visual displays in the clinic.
9. Put the information in your new client packages or puppy/kitten packages.
STAFF INCENTIVES/ATTRACTING ASSOCIATES
1. Some practices are using this tool as an incentive for new associates or current associates to add to their salary as a bonus for the calls they triage.
2. Some clinics use this as a way to pay their associates or technicians if triaging after hours.
3. Telemedicine can be used to help clinics in which an associate needs to take an extended leave or cut back hours but can take telemedicine calls at home 1-2 days a week. This give the associate a way to stay connected to established clients and the hospital a way to help with the day to day schedule.
VIDEO CONSULT CHECKLIST
CLIENT VIDEO PREPARATION
ALL OF THESE PREPARATION STEPS CAN BE SENT TO YOUR CLIENTS 1-2 DAYS PRIOR TO THE VIRTUAL CONSULT. YOU CAN MAKE A VIDEO AND SEND A LINK FOR THEM TO WATCH, YOU CAN SEND THIS LIST IN AN EMAIL, TEXT, OR HAVE YOUR STAFF CALL AND GO OVER THE PREP STEPS ON THE PHONE.
FEE SCHEDULE/CONFIRMATION OF TIME/INSTRUCTIONS ON CONNECTING WITH HOSPITAL
☐ INCLUDE YOUR FEE SCHEDULE PRIOR TO THE VIRTUAL CONSULT
☐ INCLUDE BUSINESS FEE VERSUS AFTER HOUR FEE SCHEDULE
☐ INCLUDE THE TIME OF THE CONSULT AND IF CHARGING PER 10, 20, 30 MINUTES INCREMENTS
☐ INCLUDE INSTRUCTIONS ON PAYMENT; IN APP, OVER THE PHONE, THIRD PARTY, ETC.
☐ SEND INSTRUCTIONS TO CLIENT ON HOW TO CONNECT TO THE DOCTOR AND HOW THEY WILL BE NOTIFIED AT THE TIME OF THE CONSULT (DOWNLOADING APP, ZOOM LINK, ETC.)
HELPFUL TIPS BEFORE THE EXAM
☐ MAKE SURE THE ROOM HAS PROPER LIGHTING
☐ MAKE SURE BACKGROUND NOISE IS MUTED
☐ MAKE SURE APPROPRIATE VIDEO CAMERA SETUP IS TESTED/INTERNET CONNECTION GOOD
☐ USE SMALL ROOM WITH CATS/EXOTICS
☐ HAVE CLIENTS SEND PICTURES OR VIDEOS DEPENDING ON THE PRESENTING COMPLAINT
HELPFUL TIPS DURING THE EXAM
☐ HAVE THE PET IN THE ROOM BEFORE THE VIRTUAL EXAM STARTS
☐ YOU MAY HAVE TO PLACE THE CAT ON A COUNTER OR DESK
☐ HAVE TREATS AVAILABLE TO DISTRACT OR HELP HOLD THE PET IN PLACE (PEANUT BUTTER, CHEESE, TUNA, CANNED FOOD, OR ANY FAVORITE SNACK YOU CAN FIND)
☐ INFORM CLIENTS THEY MAY NEED TO ASSIST IN THE EXAM SUCH AS: HOLDING THE PET, LIFTING THE EARS AND WIPING THEM OUT WITH COTTONBALLS, LIFTING THE LIP TO LOOK AT THE GUMS, RUNNING THEIR HANDS OVER THE BODY TO FEEL FOR LUMPS/BUMPS, BENDING THE LEGS, SHOWING THE BELLY, HAVING THEM WALK AROUND THE ROOM TO EVALUATE GAIT, ETC.
HELPFUL TIPS AT THE END/AFTER VIRTUAL CONSULT
☐ GO OVER VIRTUAL EXAM FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS
☐ MAKE SURE YOU HAVE ANSWERED ALL THEIR QUESTIONS
☐ FINALIZE THE CALL WITH AN ACTION PLAN ON WHAT NEEDS TO BE DONE NEXT