Using Zoom as part of a basic veterinary telehealth system certainly has an upside for practices trying to remotely care for patients and adapt to the new veterinary landscape. Getting started with Zoom’s Basic service is free with unlimited meetings, and this appeals to practices in challenging economic times. Yet there’s a hidden cost for Zoom’s free service, and practices pay for it in real dollars.
Zoom does not have read and writeback capabilities to automatically sync data from online consultations to practice management system medical records. So, all patient information exchanged prior to or during Zoom consultations (including text, videos, and pictures) must be manually entered into patient medical records. This costs time and labor (which have dollar values) and reduces practice efficiency.
Zoom is also a communication platform that does not offer asynchronous communications—a key consideration for practice efficiency.

  • 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.

Like GoToMeeting and other video conferencing software, Zoom is designed for synchronous conversations, which can naturally present scheduling challenges for veterinarians or team members and create time inefficiencies for busy practices. In asynchronous communications, a veterinarian does not need to respond in real time and can communicate according to their schedule and urgency of the situation. This provides a flexible method of telehealth support that improves efficiency and saves time. (For more on this, read our blog.)
If you’ve tried Zoom and you’re ready for a full telehealth solution that truly saves time and improves practice efficiency, we recently collaborated with Petriage to add their state-of-the-art telehealth platform to our industry-leading suite of Practice Solutions.
Offering three incremental service levels (teletriage, telemonitoring, and telemedicine), Petriage has read and writeback capabilities to automatically sync triage, consult, and re-check data to your practice management system medical records.
Petriage also features both synchronous (live video) and asynchronous (text, photos, and video messaging) communications to save time and improve practice efficiency.
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.
There are no setup fees for Petriage, which provides for unlimited staff users and unlimited consultations, and you can be up and running in as little as one week.
Book your free Petriage consultation
We’ll show you a free Petriage demo and answer any questions to help you decide if Petriage is right for you.