Telemedicine is the hottest topic in veterinary medicine right now, and we’re here to answer all of your questions. There is a lot of information out there, so we brought in the experts. The following information comes from Jessica Vogelsang, Founder of the Veterinary Telemedicine Community on Facebook, and Brandon Breshears, Founder of the Veterinary Marketing Podcast and the Advertising Manager at WhiskerCloud.
In March 2020, the FDA released new guidelines for veterinary hospitals as it pertains to telemedicine and, more importantly, that they were going to suspend enforcement of certain aspects of the federal veterinarian-client-patient-relationship (VCPR) requirements, opening the door for telemedicine. You can read all four pages here. A quick note on that: The federal guidelines are still superseded by state regulations so there is no blanket “all bets are off” thing happening. Be careful, and we’ll continue to update as we can.
We’re here to assist with your options, and how we can help implement it for you. First and foremost, if you are not signing up with a turnkey app, and just looking to set up a solution with Zoom + Calendly + Paypal Buttons, no one should be charging you to help implement this. As we’ve continued to say, we’re in this together.
Remember that two things are very important when it comes to getting started with telemedicine.
1. If a tree falls in the forest and no one is there to hear it, did it happen? If you do sign up or want to get started, email our support team at [email protected], and we’ll be able to help create custom pages and graphics for your website and social media pages to ensure that all of your clients know about your new offering!
2. Train your staff on what to say and how to sell it. Clients will have questions, and it’s important that your team knows everything they need to know to make this run as smoothly as possible. Having WhiskerCloud create a custom landing page on your website is great because it allows your team to send them to an online portal with everything they need to know and allows your clients to download the app right from that same page.
Option 1 – Find a turnkey app that works for you.
The wonderful thing about working with veterinary hospitals around the world is that we’re able to collect data on what people are doing and how it’s working for them. At this point, about 25% of our hospitals have chosen to take the route of finding a turnkey solution that they prefer. Our team is working hard to integrate these services into our websites, and most importantly help with the promotion and marketing of these services. Why? What’s the point of having this if your clients do not know about it.
Please note: our sharing of this information is not an endorsement of a product, their support staff, or its usefulness. We are just happy that our clients have somewhere to turn for a quick option.
Many of our clients use reminders and two-way texting apps like PetDesk, and we’re happy to announce that they have released their new video chat feature! A lot can get done over text, but when you need a live view of the patient, turn to Video Chat to strengthen the veterinarian-client bond. Unlike text or email communication, scheduled live video calls can help with more complex situations and deliver personalized care through telemedicine to meet client needs. Integrated directly into the PetDesk platform, Video Chat allows practices to create lasting relationships through Virtual Care visits without introducing new technologies, and with customized onboarding, it’s simple to get up and running.
Don’t overcomplicate your clients’ lives: give them a single app. Click here to learn more.
AirVet provides a way to quickly integrate your hospital with a telemedicine app. The user will download the app, select their hospital, select a pet, and start a call. Please note: this may or may not be with a doctor in your hospital.
Here is a clinic in Virginia that has its integration of the app on their homepage and a custom landing page we built for them. This provides them with ample promotion and marketing on the homepage, as well as the SEO and conversion value of having a custom landing page that works on all devices, allowing users to download the app, get set up and start paying the hospital. WhiskerCloud is able to completely customize anything and everything for you, and your site can be molded in any way you’d like to showcase telemedicine apps.
This app allows WhiskerCloud to implement a code to your website that creates a floating banner, reminding people that you have this service to offer. Once you click on the banner, you will be directed to the app store of your choosing to download the app.
- Add text details, pictures, and videos to your consultation for your veterinarian to review.
- Chat with your veterinarian one-on-one with consultation instant messaging.
- Set up a video chat or phone call appointment with your veterinarian to really dig into the details.
- Schedule follow-up appointments with your vet to check up on your pet’s healing progress.
- Review previous consultation records to keep track of your pet’s health.
At this moment, these are the two solutions that WhiskerCloud sees being implemented the most, but this could change over time. We will be updating this document as often as possible with solutions that seem to be working well for our clients.
Option 2 – Your own setup of Zoom + Calendly + Paypal or Stripe
Telemedicine is hot today, but it’s important to have a system that will last. The first option is quick, easy, and can be managed by you and your team. Yes, it costs money to do this, but you are in complete control of how it works. Our Advertising Manager, Brandon Breshears, broke down the exact steps to create a Zoom account, Calendly Account, and how to integrate Paypal or Stripe to seamlessly accept payments. The video is below, and, while long, is quite immersive in the entire experience of getting set up. The team at WhiskerCloud is happy to assist in setting these things up and integrating into your website and social media – 100% free of charge. Please note that these solutions do cost money to operate, but they are quite manageable for you.
Where are the flaws in these systems?
Everyone on the internet is here to flash a shiny telemedicine platform at you and sell you on the fact that the world is ending. It isn’t. However, it’s smart for veterinary hospitals to cover themselves and find new ways to get business in the world we live in.
Jessica has created a master sheet of resources from her telemedicine group that can give some great insights into what you should be doing for your clinic. You can read it here.
You’re going to have some decisions to make. 1. Is this something you want to pay for in the form of a turnkey solution? If yes, you have some options (please be sure to make your own decisions based on what works best for you). 2. Setting up your own solution is fairly easy, but it will take some effort on your part to get integrated with your bank account via Stripe and PayPal.
The big takeaways from WhiskerCloud:
- No one should charge you to help you add Paypal buttons to your website.
- No one should be charging you to help set up Zoom and Calendly as an option for your clinic.
- Now is not the time to take advantage of businesses on the front lines that need assistance with additional technology.
If you have questions or need guidance for your veterinary hospital on getting telemedicine set up, email our team directly at [email protected] and we’ll help walk you through the options. We’re with you every step of the way.
How can you do marketing around these systems?
It’s easy! WhiskerCloud can make custom landing pages, graphics, social media posts, videos, and anything else you may need to promote your new service – turnkey or custom-built. A custom section on the homepage, a custom landing page, and custom social media posts will ensure your clients know about your new service and are aware of how it works.
For those of you with a custom-built solution, we can make it look like a fancy system with a custom landing page and custom forms!
Whatever you need, the WhiskerCloud team is here to help. We look forward to helping you promote your new telemedicine solutions as we navigate a new world of veterinary care.