The role communication plays in veterinary telehealth

Dr. Jennifer Lopez

3 min read

The role communication plays in veterinary telehealth - Vetster

This past year has been a very different one for the veterinary industry. The way pet parents are seeking and receiving care for their furry family members as well as how veterinarians are providing the best medical practices has changed dramatically. There have been several noticeable shifts in day-to-day routines in clinics, however, we all continue to strive in strengthening that human-animal bond. Through telemedicine availability, communication with pet parents allows veterinary teams to bring virtual health care right to where the pet lives; in the comfort of their home.

What should I expect during my Vetster appointment?

A veterinary telemedicine appointment with either a licensed veterinarian or certified technician will be treated the same as if having an in-person appointment at a local veterinary clinic. During this appointment, the veterinary professional may need to ask you specific questions and ask to see your pet a little more closely to gather information on a tentative diagnosis. It is imperative that you have your fur-baby close by for an evaluation. For example, if you are following up after a surgery that was performed at your regular vet clinic and are concerned about how the skin area is healing, it is very helpful for the veterinary professional to visualize what is going on, just as they would examine your pet on the exam room table. The vet or technician through Vetster might ask you if there is an odor, if it is painful, what it feels like, or if you have been using any over-the-counter medications. Keeping a concise log of all this information is key to establishing a good general medical history. Questions regarding preventive care and vaccination status are also important, not to mention preparing that list of concerns ahead of your Vetster appointment. The more information the Vetster team has on the issue at hand, the better we can get them on the mend!

Communication is key in veterinary telemedicine

Communication is key in ensuring the health and wellness of your pet. Clear and detailed veterinarian and client communication can increase compliance by as much as 40% based on an article published by the AVMA, the American Veterinary Medical Association. Sometimes information regarding proposed treatment and follow-up can be hard to convey, but it’s important to talk about the WHY and the HOW. As veterinarians, we want to equip pet owners with knowledge, and the Vetster team is here to teach you to take an active role in your pet’s health care so that you can be an advocate. We might include videos or links to websites that we find will help you understand your pet’s health better, whether it be anything from heartworm disease to parasite prevention. Most importantly, we will always provide you a detailed report of what was discussed.

While we settle into making telemedicine the new normal in veterinary care, we know that not all concerns can be addressed through virtual care. Your Vetster team is always here to help you determine the next step for your pet to ensure that he or she receives the best and timely care!

Written by Dr. Jennifer Lopez
Dr. Jennifer Lopez began her veterinary career as a technician at the University of Florida in the Dermatology department. She then attended St. George’s University School of Veterinary Medicine in Grenada, the West Indies where she received her DVM degree. After graduating from veterinary school, she began general practice in Miami, while continuing her education and receiving her MBA in Multi-Sector Health Management. She then took a position with a larger corporate hospital as a medical director for a 24-hour, 12 doctor general practice and emergency hospital in Pennsylvania. Her varied veterinary interests include dermatology, surgery and emergency care. She loves to interact with clients and pets. Dr. Lopez fur babies include two French bulldogs, Roxy Razzle Dazzle and King Pickle, and a miniature red poodle, named Poodle.
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