Using Vetster to Provide Second Opinions
Many pet owners come to telehealth looking for a second opinion, so being skilled at providing a good experience presents a great opportunity. It’s important to focus on the client's point of view during these consultations and to understand that when they ask for “second opinion”, they usually want to tell you what’s been going on with their pet and to get your expert perspective.
Why do clients seek a second opinion?
- They want to validate their decision before pursuing an upcoming treatment plan
- They may be wanting to know more about an alternative care plan
- They can be seeking information about managing costs
Why is virtual care a great place for a second opinion?
- Clients can be overwhelmed in clinic and need time to digest complex information before making a decision
- Virtual care offers a dedicated time for conversation and to ask questions
- Virtual care offers a safe space without bias to discuss alternative treatment plans and associated costs which can be sensitive topics
In this blog post we will cover:
- How to provide valuable virtual care visits when a client requests a second opinion but does not have their medical records or diagnostic data available to share with you.
- The components of an actual second opinion.
- How you can provide actual second opinions on our platform.
The client’s point of view
Most clients aren’t aware that in order to get a true second opinion, they need to provide the vet with their pet’s prior medical records and diagnostic reports. So in your first appointment with them, they will want to tell you what’s been going on with their pet and hear your thoughts. You can provide them with reassurance and general knowledge about the case. In the initial consultation, take the time to listen to their full story, ask open-ended questions, and share your insight based on the client’s understanding of their pet’s situation.
This is when we recommend that you book a follow up with the client.
The components of a true second opinion
As you move through your conversation, look for an opportunity to let the client know what actually constitutes a second opinion. Explain how second opinions are based on an objective analysis of the patient’s previous medical records and lab results. This may include blood work and diagnostic imaging files, which can all be uploaded through the Vetster platform. You can direct the client on these steps:
- Obtain the patient records and diagnostic data from your original vet
- Upload the files to Vetster platform
- Set up a time to go through that opinion together
Clients can easily upload their records and diagnostic reports prior to the appointment so you have time to review them before the appointment. The ultimate goal is to meet these common requests in a way that both meets the customer’s needs while also satisfying your professional obligation to accurately represent the service you are providing. This allows you to build relationships with virtual clients, grow your virtual practice, and provide clients with the information they need to take the best care of their pets.
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