Cost is certainly a reason why pet owners don’t follow through with veterinary treatments and recommendations. Yet it’s not the sole reason, evidenced by a new 2021 PLOS One study revealing three big reasons why clients don’t follow your recommendations:
1. They Don’t Understand Medical Jargon
The study reveals pet owners want veterinarians to provide information in everyday language they can understand. As one pet owner said during the study, “I don’t have a medical degree and I have no intentions of getting one just because I own an animal. So, explain it to me in terms that I can understand.” Indeed, some pet owners said that when veterinarians use medical jargon, they have to “go home and Google what they’re saying.”
2. They Only Get Verbal Explanations
Participants in the study said they had difficulty comprehending pet health recommendations (and thereby following through) when veterinarians only provided information verbally. They said visual aids helped them retain information, and veterinarians in the study agreed on the benefits of visuals.
As one veterinarian said, without visual aids to help pet owners remember recommendations, pet owners will often “phone up the next day and they did something completely different than what you suggested.”
3. They Don’t Get Takeaway Handouts
Pet owners in the study valued pet health education handouts from their veterinarian because they allowed them to review information post-appointment, reflect on what was discussed, and confidently follow through by solidly knowing the why. Pet owners particularly valued takeaway handouts when emotional stress caused by seeing their pets in an in-clinic situation made it difficult to absorb information.
Veterinarians equally felt takeaway handouts were valuable practice tools to help pet owners remember what was discussed. Yet because of the time involved in preparing client education handouts, some veterinarians mentioned discontinuing handouts for the sake of clinic workflow efficiency.
The time-crunch challenge, of course, is a common one for veterinary practices.
Where patient care comes first, time spent creating handouts naturally impacts appointments, time, and workflow efficiency. Yet as the PLOS One study shows, not providing pet owners with client education handouts does not solve three big reasons why clients don’t follow your recommendations.
So, the question for any veterinary practice becomes this:
How do you easily provide your clients with pet health handouts to improve compliance while saving time and improving efficiency for your clinic?
LifeLearn Animal Health’s pet health education library ClientEd was created for this very purpose.
Containing over 2,100 pet health handouts written and reviewed by animal health communication experts, ClientEd essentially functions as a clinic team member to support client decisions and confident pet care with:
- Professionally written client education handouts written in easy-to-understand, jargon-free language.
- Images and custom illustrations to strengthen client understanding.
- Easy shareability (handouts can be shared in print or digital form).
ClientEd Is Accessible to Your Entire Veterinary Team
Through its online portal, ClientEd is accessible to your entire team. ClientEd also integrates with many popular practice management systems to seamlessly add client education at multiple touchpoints in a client visit. With ClientEd, you can also:
- Tailor existing handouts or create your own.
- Customize handouts with your practice logo.
- Add patient-specific doctor’s notes.
The best evaluation of ClientEd’s effectiveness at increasing compliance, saving time, and improving efficiency is of course your own.