Curbside care was complicated enough for veterinary teams in the warm weather. With the return of chilly temperatures, the coming winter, and the likelihood of social distancing policies continuing due to predicted spikes in COVID-19 case numbers, curbside care is about to get a lot more complicated—and a lot colder. So, how can veterinary teams simplify patient care while keeping themselves, clients, and pets safe and warm?
In a recent article by the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA), veterinary infectious disease expert Dr. Scott Weese (DVM, DVSc, Dipl ACVIM) said that telemedicine will make the biggest difference.
Telemedicine certainly won’t eliminate the need for curbside service during the cold weather. In anticipation of this, many practices are now thinking ahead to practical considerations such as cold-weather gear for staff and steps to keep parking lots, steps, and sidewalks clear of ice. In terms of COVID-19 safety protocols inside clinics, Dr. Weese says that indoor safety protocols followed by practices through the spring and summer will go relatively unchanged.
While Dr. Weese notes in the AAHA article that curbside can still work in cold weather, he also notes the less-than-ideal situation of handing off pets to veterinary staff in a parking lot where idling vehicles are pumping out carbon monoxide as people keep their engines running to stay warm. Given the extra time and trouble for pet owners to bundle themselves and their pets into a car and head out for a chilly curbside wait, it’s not unreasonable to say that pet owners may even choose to forego curbside visits, which would naturally mean reduced care for pets and a decline in practice revenue.
To serve clients and patients through the coming winter, Dr. Weese sees curbside service as an adjunct to veterinary telemedicine because telemedicine allows practices to remotely triage, diagnose, and treat patients without clients and patients needing to wait at curbside or come into the clinic. “That keeps everyone safer,” according to the AAHA article, “and makes it easier to do curbside service with the rest.”
Telemedicine also keeps veterinary staff, clients, and patients warmer in that no one needs to go outdoors. So, combined with the convenience of telemedicine for pet owners (and veterinary staff), telemedicine helps encourage consultations, improve pet health care, and ultimately increase practice revenue.
Petriage, the complete veterinary telehealth solution, provides all of the above benefits (and much more) as a unique, robust, and flexible telehealth solution that enables modern-day veterinary practices to seamlessly integrate virtual care while maintaining the highest standards of patient care.
Designed to optimize practice operations and efficiencies through the use of PIMS integration for automatic medical record keeping, a patent-pending AI-driven teletriage tool, virtual telemedicine consultations, and automated remote monitoring, Petriage empowers  veterinarians to remotely care for patients while strengthening client relationships and compliance.
Petriage also features eCommerce—the ability to collect payments for consultations within the app.
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.
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