Updated: Jun 3, 2021
It is a human quality to feel resistance to changing of our routines as it causes one to have to break out of ones comfort zone. We all have our ways of doing things that define our daily lives as Veterinarians. If we have been in Veterinary Clinical Practice for a while it may even be more of a challenge than for some of the recent graduates who may be more comfortable with using technology.
In either case, I am sure that you want to make sure that you are doing the best for your patients and the clients that consider them family. So now is the time to consider how you would want to embark on Digital Care Delivery (DCD).
Digital Care Delivery is the use of technology that allows Vets to seek the opinion of Specialists who are considered experts in their respective disciplines. Most Vets have been doing this for years in the area of Telephone Consults (i.e. Antech and Idexx phone consultation services) and in Telemedicine Diagnostic Services (i.e. digital transmission and report generation of radiographs, ultrasounds and other imaging modalities). These remote service models allow a Vet to "tap" into the opinion of an Expert and ultimately provide better patient care.
Since the advent of COVID-19 and the restriction of person to person interactions there has been a major emphasis on the utilization of technology to advance veterinary care for all pets. Vets can now have more elaborate access to Specialists as there are no geographic limitations to access since a Zoom Video Consult can be done anywhere and at any time. Televideo consults give new meaning to remote Specialist access as it can happen real-time. A Specialist can review medical records, lab testing, medical imaging and any pics or videos of patients prior to consultation. Subsequently, the Vet and the patient can join a video call and partner together in evaluating the patient. This truly enhances the Vet to Vet interaction and takes the Veterinarian to Specialist relationship to a whole new level which is most supportive of a more unified and enhanced delivery of patient care. Thus allowing for comprehensive patient assessment, personalized diagnostic and treatment recommendations and an educational opportunity for the Veterinarian and his staff.
There may be some hurdles for a Vet to take that first step to request a Televideo Consult. One should, at the least, start thinking about the benefits it offers your Veterinary Practice and how technology can be incorporated into the daily routine. For example, the use of a GoPro during a neurologic exam can allow for easy "on the fly" capture of relevant case information and not an extra task that one has to go back and do. It also frees up your hands and minimizes the need of another employee to do the recording. This is just an example of one way to avail yourself of building digital data collection into your workflow of your daily practice.
Keep in mind the value proposition, a Specialist access by a virtual consultation makes them an extension to your Clinic or Hospital. Capturing important and relevant case information can provide vital evidence to the Specialist and also save time. The more Specialists can review prior to the consultation the less time the Vet will spend on the Zoom Teleconsult. Most clients appreciate that you will seek an expert opinion when there may be any question about the diagnosis or opportunities available in the treatment of their pets. If there is a reluctance to travel to a Specialist because of distance or an ability to get a referral appointment with a Specialist nearby because of a significant delay then offering a Virtual Teleconsult could be a good definitive or preliminary option.
The future holds nothing but opportunities for growth. Vet On Call Network is here to help you harness the power of Digital Care Delivery and bring new opportunities for improved patient care to your everyday clinical practice.