Virtual Support for In-Person Care Needs

Virtual Support for In-Person Care Needs - man looking at his dog with admiration

Whether you’re using our platform to practice telemedicine or provide general advice and teletriage, pet owners are seeking your expert guidance. This is particularly true when the next step for the pet owner is to seek in-person care. It may seem counterintuitive, but this is where your expertise, counsel and compassion can really come through to deliver a high-value experience for your pet owner.

Remember this is a virtual experience, not the clinic. Working in a clinic may have you hard-wired to make a diagnosis and treatment plan as quickly as possible, but a virtual care appointment with a specified timeframe means you can take more time to provide your service.

Your appointments will be booked most often in 15 or 30-minute increments. There is no need to hurry to your next case or leave the client feeling rushed. Take the time you have to provide the pet owner with a value-focused experience, keeping them calm in an emergency, and educating them about next steps.

Pet owners reach out to you on Vetster so they can have access to your time and expertise. Even if you know 30 seconds into a video appointment that the pet needs in-person care to solve its problem, remember the other things you can provide, and take the time to provide them:

  • Listen carefully to client concerns, keeping them calm and feeling supported
  • Answer all their questions and make them feel heard
  • Take a full history and record it in the medical record - including weight!
  • Observe the pet on video or ask for a photo to make an assessment of their condition
  • Provide information about the symptoms and conditions the pet owner has questions about
  • Explain potential outcomes and expectations
  • Make sure the client has the information they need to decide what to do next

Then go one step further, prep them for the ER or their next in-clinic appointment:

  • What to expect on arrival - what are the steps they’ll take at the ER and outline the questions they’ll be asked.
  • Share the medical record - recommend they show the Vetster medical record to the in-person vet with your full history and assessment to accelerate the intake - which can be helpful in an emergency situation.
  • Provide continuity of care - suggest a follow-up appointment. This can be initiated by you within the call itself, post appointment via the DAP section, or via the appointment page. You may also suggest a follow up via Direct Message within 24-hours of your appointment.

Your efforts to provide value adds to a positive customer experience, even when the client also needs to seek in-person care.

review from a pet owner

Remember these tips to provide valuable virtual care appointments even when the pet needs additional in-person care:

  1. There is no reason to lower your standard of care in your virtual workspace from what you would provide in the clinic.
  2. We understand not every problem can be managed virtually. A virtual care appointment is an excellent first step for many problems that pet owners bring to our platform, but you are not expected to be a substitute for in-person care. If you start to feel frustrated or like you cannot help the client, pause and remember to pivot to what you can do for them remotely. There is still a lot you can do to help!

Think of the ways you actually can help them, including the points listed above, and provide 5-star service!

Disclaimer: In rare circumstances it will be immediately clear that the pet is in need of emergency life-saving care, and that a virtual care appointment is not an appropriate path to care. If this happens, please politely interrupt the user and direct them to contact their closest emergency center. Express your empathy for their difficult situation and desires for a good outcome. Inform them of their next steps. You can message with them within a 24-hour window to stay connected to the situation.

The Vetster Editorial Team is comprised of seasoned writers and communicators dedicated to elevating stories about Vetster, pets and their owners.
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