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How the Best Veterinary Practices are Tackling COVID-19

As the coronavirus pandemic runs its course, we see countless businesses shifting techniques and procedures. We’re witnessing reinvention and innovation like never before. The same has been happening in the veterinary industry, and these positive trends could continue far beyond COVID-19 recovery.

Playing Catch-up

Some veterinary practices were behind the tech times going into this pandemic. But since COVID-19 appeared, necessity has really sped things up––needed advances have been rapid. As with any form of change, some might resist. But by now we’re seeing that the best veterinarians choose to move forward with advancing technology.

Key upgrades to be excited about:

  • Telemedicine allows for fast, convenient, and affordable access to veterinary care
  • Mobile apps enable seamless, real-time information-sharing between client and practitioner
  • Automated systems remind clients of appointments, vaccination updates, and pet health alerts
  • System improvements link patient and practice data on one platform

During the COVID-19 pandemic, in-person consultations are mostly impossible. Telemedicine has been a lifeline for many veterinary practices and clients often prefer it too. Virtual visits have broken barriers to care, and the convenience factor can’t be underestimated. Besides being able to see the vet from the comfort of home, text, video, and social media outlets are building strong connections between patients and practitioners. With a focus on education and relationship-building, a practice’s social media presence can keep clients engaged in this socially-distanced time.

Streamlined data is also a huge plus for vet practices. It means less human error and labor, and more time for improving efficiency and client care. As technology continues to improve, diagnostics could become more readily available too, even in smaller practices.

Handle with Care

Telemedicine has also been a way to improve interactions with customers. Instead of gathering hands-on, physical data, a provider needs to use effective communication skills to collect the same information from afar. Since clients, staff, and even pets are feeling stressed right now, empathy, thoughtful questions, and education are key.

Spending more time talking through a pet’s condition with clients can help to strengthen the client-provider relationship. It also boosts the empathetic side of pet care. And this is vital––personal relationships built on respect and trust could help to save a neighborhood vet practice in tough times. It could also lead to further innovation and improved pet care.

Health and safety are top priority for all vets. So complying with guidelines for social distancing, sanitation, and personal protective equipment (PPE) use is a natural move. The best veterinary practices have also made practical changes to better serve clients:

  • Parking lots become waiting rooms where socially-distanced drivers wait their turn for an appointment
  • Curbside service by PPE-wearing staff means safe, limited pet contact and often contactless service for pet owners
  • Curbside medication pickup and specimen drop-off streamlines client visits
  • Contactless payment options accommodate strict spatial guidelines and minimize exposure
  • For clients who must pay in person, repositioning of payment machines or a reception desk keeps everyone at a safe distance
  • Correct use of PPE and rigorous sanitation allow close cooperation during treatment
  • Staggered scheduling and smaller teams limit the amount of staff physically together in the building
  • Expanded schedules and well-spaced appointments allow time for thorough cleaning before and after patients
  • Telemedicine encourages at-home triage and prevents over-scheduling

Vets understand that pets are members of the family who deserve treatment when they need it. They also know that pets will get sick and have accidents regardless of an ongoing pandemic. So even when illness is rife, pet care pros want to be sure that clients have a safe place to bring their furry, scaly, and feathered friends.

Re-Investing in Self

Smart veterinarians know that their staff are the face of their practice. And how vet techs, nurses, receptionists, or other assistants interact with the public reflects the tone set by the vets themselves. In times of crisis and panic––when everyone’s nerves are raw––capable leadership and sterling qualities shine brightest. It’s also when they’re most desperately needed.

Vets who want their practice to shine as a beacon in this storm are relying on their employees. Staff who are valued and treated fairly will surpass expectations. Providing any necessary training is one way to set them up for success. But vets can also encourage healthy and happy employees by providing for their wellbeing. Whether this means additional, tailored insurance benefits, altering work and scheduling policies, or working harder on teambuilding, a strengthened team is always worth the effort. If staff is happy and well-cared-for they will be right there with you, ready to handle what the future brings.

Professional Protection

When faced with a common enemy, teams of pet care professionals have come together in new ways to serve clients. And in the process, they have improved the industry. When the virus subsides and things get closer to how they were, the best of these changes will endure.

Until then, a wide and strong safety net is as important as ever. A solid pet care policy can help to lessen worry and allow vets to focus on wellness. At Zinc Insurance, we understand vets' needs and are experts in providing insurance for pet care businesses. So if you’re looking for the best pet care policy, reach out today––we are honored to help.

This blog post does not provide insurance advice and is intended for information purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional insurance advice from a licensed representative. Never ignore professional insurance advice because of something you have read in this blog post. Contact your licensed representative if you have any questions about your insurance policy.