As of 10th March 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) has labelled the new COVID-19 a pandemic and have urged for all countries to take steps to combat the spread of this virus. With an increasing number of countries coming into lock down, this is a challenging time for any veterinary practice. For those able to stay in operation as essential services, new regulations will impact how you run your day-to-day but we hope that technology will help make it manageable.
In a matter of days, veterinary businesses have shown ingenuity, demonstrating ways to continue to provide exceptional patient care whilst protecting staff, have embraced new technologies and enacted new protocols.
We have prepared some tips to help navigate your practice in this unprecedented time.
👌 Access anytime anywhere
An essential service in many countries, many veterinary practices are still in operation, but with new procedures and policies in place. ezyVet's cloud-based solution allows you access it anytime and anywhere, making it adaptable to any changes your practice may need to make to your day-to-day. As long as there is access to the internet, ezyVet will continue to function as per usual on any device.
Being able to access your ezyVet site remotely or offsite means you would be able to complete any administrative tasks offsite such as scheduling appointments, clinical notes and patient follow ups.
One idea is to set up a remote ‘call centre’ for your reception team to work from home. Phone calls and emails can be routed directly to them where the team can access ezyVet remotely. Whichever way you decide to run bookings, you can have instant communications with your team using ezyVet’s internal memo tool.
👀 Explore Telemedicine/Tele-consult Options
This could be the time to evaluate the use of telemedicine for the management and follow-up of established patients.
Here's some options we've been working on:
1. If you are already using a video conferencing platform (e.g. Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Google Hangouts), you can add the link into your record notes. Our Support Team have prepared a guide for how you can use ezyVet to conduct remote consults today.
2. We are also extending this so the workflow and integration with a video conference supplier works more seamlessly. We're putting the final touches on this feature and will be launching it soon. For now, here's a sneak peak...
🚦 Social distancing
Establish strict infection control measures by first keeping your waiting rooms as clear as possible. Have customers call you first to discuss the best way you can provide care to their pet. 'Curbside Check-Ins’ or ‘Clinic Drive-Thrus’ are an increasingly popular way to practice social distancing between staff and pet owners (here’s a good Owner Contact Guidelines Flowchart with more useful info on social distancing practices). Should customers need to bring their pet in, direct them to wait with their pet outside or in their car. When you’re ready to see them, have a member of staff retrieve the patient from the car for treatment and return. With ezyVet, the patient can be checked in and have their history filled out right in the parking lot. Customers can start this process by booking an appointment online and paying after it finishes through ezyVet’s integrated Customer Portal, all from the safety of their home.
👋 Eliminate contact touch points
Here are a number of ways you can achieve this today:
- Arrange door to door delivery of medication and pet food, by getting customers to order online through the Customer Portal.
- For over the phone or video consults, you can utilize dictation services such as Dragon or Talkingvet to fast track note taking.
- Obtain digital signatures for consent forms and estimates. We have prepared a guide for your customers on how they can electronically sign for a document you email them.
- Use contactless payments and customer-facing terminals to avoid the exchange of cash and receipts and so the credit-card remains in the hands of the consumer. We've partnered with PayJunction to enable ezyVet customers to introduce a contactless payment processing feature which removes the need for signature capture. This feature is set to launch soon, here's a sneak peak for now...
💌 Keep your customers in the loop
After you’ve established new protocols, you’re ready to communicate to your customers and keep them up to date with any new changes. While it is important to share messaging on your business website or social media, direct messages are the best way to get your message across in this situation. ezyVet can generate mass (and personalized) communications to your existing client base through their preferred method of communication, whether by email, fax or SMS.
ezyVet has 2-Way SMS enabled which means any client responses are captured within your ezyVet site. With this tool, you can easily send your clients regular reassurances that you’re available for their pets. If you haven’t set this up before, our Support Team have prepared a step-by-step guide.
ezyVet’s template tools are another powerful way to help get any communication across to customers and referring vets. Customize your discharge, reminder and handout templates with tips on how your clients and patients can stay safe with COVID-19.
💡 Spend time preparing for the future
Things may inevitably slow down for the weeks and maybe months to come, this can be a good time to plan ahead before things pick back up again. Perhaps you can undertake a full inventory count in the lead up to setting up an automated inventory order generation? Maybe there was an integration you wanted to implement? Or take a deeper dive into ezyVet’s reporting tools to analyze data that can help you make well-informed decisions on how you run your practice?
Take this ‘down’ time to focus on things you have been putting off when your practice was too busy to do so. If required, our consulting experts are here to assist on internal process evaluation or workflow re-configuration.
Be sure to visit our internal customer Knowledge Base full of free how-to guides and webinar training that will help you get the most out of your ezyVet site. Our Support Team will continue to be available 24/7.
❤️ We're all in this together
The coronavirus has brought new challenges to healthcare and businesses worldwide. As we head into uncertain times ahead, we must leverage technology as much as we can to adapt to new ways of working and operating. ezyVet is committed to ensuring your businesses remain supported, now and into the future (COVID-19 or not).
Here are some other additional resources you might find useful
American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) Updates
Australian Veterinary Association (AVA) Updates
New Zealand Veterinary Association (NZVA) Updates
British Veterinary Association (BVA) Updates
Owner Contact Flowchart Source: Dr Scoot Weese, Worms & Germs blog