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AVMA, AAHA Release Telehealth How-to Guide

As virtual care rises in popularity, practical advice is available to help practitioners introduce and monetize the service.

AVMA, AAHA Release Telehealth How-to Guide

Veterinary hospitals looking to implement virtual care or improve upon what they now provide can access a manual produced by two leading veterinary associations.

The American Veterinary Medical Association and the American Animal Hospital Association unveiled the 2021 AAHA/AVMA Telehealth Guidelines for Small-Animal Practice at bit.ly/3dE432G. The 32-page document supplements the recently released AVMA Guidelines for the Use of Telehealth in Veterinary Practice, which is available at bit.ly/37DVKji.

“Our profession has been making much progress in seeing wider adoption of technology, especially during the pandemic, and the new AAHA and AVMA guidelines will help practices successfully integrate telehealth into their daily operations,” said AAHA’s deputy CEO, Janice L. Trumpeter, DVM. “When done right, connected care is an opportunity to more fully engage and utilize the skill sets of veterinary staff members while increasing attention to customer service and ensuring that we continue to deliver high-quality medical care.”

The AVMA/AAHA guidelines offer step-by-step instructions, from choosing telehealth products and platforms to monetizing telehealth to communicating the benefits of telehealth.

“During the pandemic, a survey of companion animal practices reported a strong increase in the use of telehealth, from 10% to 30%,” said AVMA President Douglas Kratt, DVM. “Telehealth has supported better and more timely communication with our clients during a time when maintaining physical distance has been critical to their health and the health of the staff in our practices.

“Beyond this immediate need, our experience with telehealth has given us insight into the opportunities remote technologies present for integrating AI into our diagnostic workups and ongoing monitoring of our patients, which ultimately will support more timely intervention when their health is challenged.”

Funding for the project came from Boehringer Ingelheim Animal Health USA Inc., CareCredit and Merck Animal Health.

A comprehensive guide to telehealth platforms, by company, is available here. “Who’s Who in Virtual Care” was published in the August/September 2020 issue of Today’s Veterinary Business.

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