Some people can’t wait to ditch face masks once they’re no longer mandatory. Yet many plan to keep wearing them after mask mandates lift. This means curbside and telemedicine services adopted by veterinary clinics will remain important to pet owners for the foreseeable future.
Pet Owners Want Curbside Service Post-COVID
Though curbside had its challenges for pet owners and clinic teams alike, pet owners want curbside post-COVID:
- A February 2021 study by Brakke Consulting concluded, “The obvious safety and convenience of [curbside] seem set to stay even as society returns to pre-pandemic norms. An interesting dynamic is that although 80% of vets believe owners will revert to in-clinic visits post-pandemic, many owners are happier with curbside service.”
- In a survey of 1,000 pet owners by M/A/R/C Research, 86% thought curbside treatment was good or very good for their pet, 28% felt curbside was better than a conventional veterinary visit, and 48% would use curbside post-COVID.
Veterinary Telemedicine Projected to Boom Post-COVID
Because relatively few pet owners used telemedicine pre-COVID, pet owners were understandably slow to uptake telemedicine during COVID. Yet where the growth of any product or service hinges on demand, the Veterinary Telehealth Market growth trends report released in August 2021 projects a 19% compounded annual growth rate for the veterinary telehealth market from 2021 to 2016.
Growth projections are linked to the on-demand nature of telemedicine. According to an August 2021 report by Today’s Veterinary Business, younger pet owners (which make up some 60% of the U.S. pet-owning population) are both “technologically advanced and very conscious pet owners.” As such, they “want on-demand veterinary services that allow for optimal pet care and wellness.”
Curbside and Telemedicine Benefits for Clinics
In addition to pet owner demand for telemedicine, Today’s Veterinary Business recommends that practices adopt telemedicine for five reasons:
- Better workflow efficiency and more time to focus on in-clinic clients and patients
- Increased clinic revenue
- Better client retention and lower turnover rates
- More work-life balance for veterinarians
- Appeal (and retention) for veterinarians looking for a career in telemedicine
For curbside, some clinics are planning on keeping it as part of normal operations. To save time, improve workflow efficiency, and reduce waiting room stress for pets and nervous pet owners, some clinics are currently using curbside for clients making medication refills or food purchases.
Telemedicine and Curbside Combine in Petriage
For busy clinic teams, managing two separate systems for telemedicine and curbside naturally wastes time and impairs efficiency. The complete telehealth solution Petriage centralizes both systems with new curbside features for optimal efficiency and time-savings.
“Using Curbside Petriage has streamlined the process of checking in/checking out patients. It’s fast, efficient, and super easy to use. Clients love that they are able to pay on their phone while waiting in the car for their pets. Communication is clear and automatically entered into the software. Love love this!”
—Kelly Bartlett, LVT/Practice Manager, Arlington Veterinary Hospital
Designed to optimize clinic operations and efficiencies through Practice Management System integration, automated remote monitoring, virtual telemedicine consultations, curbside solutions, and a patented AI-driven teletriage tool (an industry-first patent), Petriage enables veterinary clinics to seamlessly integrate virtual care while maintaining the highest standards of patient care.