The coronavirus pandemic has changed everything, from how we grocery shop to how we socialize. The virtual platform, Zoom, saw a huge increase in daily users, from 10 million in December to 200 million in March alone. Suddenly, there were commercials for dating apps where potential couples would meet via video chat, and the use of online workout platforms and food delivery apps skyrocketed. Netflix alone added 16 million new customers within the first quarter of 2020 (1).
How has the pandemic affected vet med?
As a member of the veterinary community, I can tell you that we initially weren’t sure how the pandemic would affect our industry. However, over the course of my past few externships, its effects have become clear. American citizens have been adopting and fostering pets at increased rates, with puppies and kittens filtering steadily in and out of veterinary clinics. One Florida shelter saw its kennel empty for the first time ever during the pandemic, an absolutely incredible feat for a country in which approximately 6.5 million companion animals enter shelters every year (2).
Business is booming in many general practice veterinary clinics throughout the United States. At the very least, many clinics have seen an increase in clients over the past few months, often booking out months in advance. During my veterinary emergency externship, we would often see overflow from general practice, with routine cases like ear infections making their way to emergency facilities because their regular veterinarians didn’t have appointments available.
So how can we adapt as an industry?
One solution is the virtual pet care platform, PetPro Connect. PetPro Connect is a free app that allows pet owners and veterinarians to communicate via mobile devices or computers. For veterinarians, this app is revolutionary because it allows us to effectively stay in contact with our clients virtually.
PetPro Connect is more than just telemedicine. Pet owners can request and schedule appointments instantaneously in the PetPro Connect app, saving your clinic valuable time. They can also directly access their pet’s medical records and vaccination history. The messaging feature allows clients to send pictures and questions, or request a prescription refill securely. What’s more, veterinarians can schedule telemedicine video consults through the app! This helps keep clients and staff safe during routine medical appointments!
Basically, the app provides more options for your clients and frees up more time for your staff. It is especially useful for immunocompromised pet owners. The best part is that the app is free and easy to use. I am not the most “tech-savvy” person, and I found the app incredibly user-friendly.
So, ask yourself, how is your clinic adapting?
I believe PetPro Connect is an incredible option that can help you begin to adapt to the changing needs of our industry and your clients. If you are a pet owner, what is your experience with telemedicine overall? Let me know in the comments below.
Interested in learning about my path to veterinary medicine? Click here to read more about my journey!
This post is sponsored by Mirum.