Enhancing Client Value and Patient Care Through Effective Communication
World Small Animal Veterinary Association World Congress Proceedings, 2015
E. Garcia
Digital Marketing & Communications Consultant, Tampa, FL, USA

The latest enhancements in technology are forever changing the way we communicate. Although it has become easier and more efficient for us to communicate, there is still a mindset that is withholding the willingness to adapt to all of the advances in communication. There are several reasons for the hesitation to jump on board with new technology. For instance, there is the cost factor and return on my investment factor. At times we are unsure if using new methods of technology make client interaction less personal. It is very true to say there are many things to think about before getting on board with a new method of communication with clients. However, it is also very true that the longer you wait the potential of getting new clients, generating higher revenue and the satisfaction of your clients' needs will be slow to rise.

Everyone's perception of what "technology" is can vary from person to person. Technology in a veterinary practice can be any of the following items:


 Computer network


 Practice management software (for the use of compliance assessments, financial productivity, electronic medical records, etc.)

 Diagnostic equipment (including but not limited to: lab equipment, direct radiology units, ultrasound, anesthetic monitoring units, etc.)

 Electronic whiteboard

 Interactive educational tools

Those practices that do not make the investments in technology will be left behind struggling to make up lost profits. We will rely on "technology" to not only create value for our clients who will demand it but we will need it to generate lost revenue. For example, more and more practices make the investment in ultrasound units when there is not an internist or radiologist on staff to interpret results. Telemedicine has helped practice owners keep this revenue for themselves instead of sending it off to a local specialty clinic. This is just one of the many examples of how future practice owners will rely on technology to remain competitive.

There are many tools within the veterinary practice management software that can assist practices with enhancing client value and patient care. When the client comes into the veterinary practice for their exam utilize the practice management software to create a pet health report card.

The pet health report card should include the following information:

 The client's information as well as the pet's personal information such as name, date of birth, and spayed or neutered.

 Physical exam results such as: coat/skin, ears, eyes, gums and teeth, the musculoskeletal system, respiratory system, nervous system, etc.

 The results in each system should be noted as normal or abnormal.

 In many cases, the practice management software will allow you to create the pet health report card and place normal and abnormal descriptions in the system already.

 The pet health report card should outline important notes following the veterinarian's exam. These notes will allow clients to take home the written discussion of what items should be taken care of regarding their pet's health.

 Contain information to notate overall dental health within the pet health report card by using a form of grading scale.

Clients are used to getting information when they need it. In-house diagnostics have helped veterinary practices also obtain information when they need it the most. When clients come into the veterinary practice for routine check-ups, running in-house lab tests can provide clients with answers regarding the overall health of their pet aside from the physical exam results. Pet owners can leave the practice confident in knowing that their pet is healthy inside and out. When pet owners pay for diagnostic results after they have already received the results prior to leaving the practice, it leaves smaller opportunities for the pet owner to complain about cost because they were able to obtain the value prior to leaving the practice. In cases where digital radiographs are an option, practices are able to send the radiographs to telemedicine consultants for a board certified radiologist's opinion. This will provide peace of mind and reassurance for the veterinarian and the client. In addition, because results are provided so quickly, the pet is able to obtain the care it needs much sooner. The rapid communication and results let the pet owner know this is your priority and you are doing what you can to treat their pet quickly. With the ability to send diagnostic images off to telemedicine consultants, veterinarians are able to not only able to send off digital radiographs but ultrasound images too. Many veterinarians obtain certifications in the ability to properly utilize an ultrasound machine to obtain high quality images. Therefore, practice owners are investing money on ultrasound machines and the proper education to utilize this diagnostic tool within their veterinary practice. With veterinarians educated on how to properly obtain images, they can send them off to telemedicine consultants for either a board certified radiologist or a board certified internist consultation. This saves the pet owner the hassle and expense of having to take their pet to another location to obtain these services. Therefore, creating less stress for the owner and enhancing the value of your services.


Speaker Information
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Eric Garcia
Digital Marketing & Communications Consultant
Tampa, FL, USA

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