When it comes to optimizing practice operations in the new normal, help practices save time and improve efficiency.
Telehealth systems typically feature both asynchronous and synchronous chat capabilities:

  • Synchronous chat means two people (a veterinarian and a client, for example) are speaking with each other at the same time (or in sync), whether in-person, by phone, or by video chat.
  • Asynchronous chat allows two people to share information, whether text messages, images, or video clips, but both parties do not need to be present and share information at the same time.


Cons of Synchronous Chat

Synchronous communications can naturally present scheduling challenges for veterinarians or team members and create time inefficiencies for busy practices.

Pros of Asynchronous Chat

In asynchronous chat, a veterinarian does not need to respond in real time and can communicate according to their schedule and urgency of the situation. With an asynchronous chat, a client can share images and a description of their pet’s health issue. A member of the veterinary healthcare team then has time to review the pet’s signs and will consult through the chat within an appropriate timeframe, providing a flexible method of telehealth support that improves efficiency and saves time.

Asynchronous Chat May Sound Counterintuitive

If the idea of improving efficiency with asynchronous chat sounds counterintuitive to live two-way consultations, you’re not alone. In a recent Facebook Live discussion with the Viticus Group (formerly the Western Veterinary Conference), Jessica Vogelsang, DVM, said, “Everyone assumes that telemedicine means a live video appointment, and that is not true.” In the same interview, Aaron Smiley, DVM, spoke more directly to the efficiency of asynchronous chat. Agreeing that asynchronous communication works perfectly well with veterinary telehealth, Dr. Smiley said that asynchronous chat “is so much more efficient for the client and the doctor,” adding, “I can get an amazing amount of perspective and the owner can do it on her time. That is key.”

Petriage Includes Both Forms of Chat

Petriage—The Complete Telehealth Solution—provides both asynchronous and synchronous chat (including live video chat). When a client using Petriage uses the Symptom Analysis triage tool and requests an eConsult for a non-emergent pet health issue, they can immediately begin chatting with a veterinarian and provide images, text, and video clips of a pet concern. Their veterinarian can then schedule a follow-up consultation in keeping with urgency to maximize time and workflow.
To further save administrative time, the entire chat is directly recorded into a pet’s medical record.
As a cloud-based service, Petriage provides a unique software platform (developed by a veterinarian) by which clients can use the Petriage online Symptom Checker tool. This allows them to assess the urgency of their pets’ symptoms and, when applicable, provide clients the opportunity to request online consultations remotely.
Offering three incremental service levels (teletriage, telemonitoring, and telemedicine) to fit the needs and budget of any practice, Petriage has read and writeback capabilities to automatically sync data from all three levels to practice management system medical records. Petriage currently integrates with Cornerstone, AVImark, ImproMed, eVetPractice, and IntraVet (the latter does not have writeback).
Trusted by veterinarians across North America and recommended to its members by the Washington State Veterinary Medical Association (WSVMA), Petriage is available through LifeLearn as a standalone solution. Petriage can also be added and integrated into LifeLearn WebDVM custom veterinary websites (both for existing and new WebDVM customers) for quick pet-owner access.

  • No setup fees
  • Unlimited staff users
  • Unlimited consultations
  • Be up and running in as little as one week

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