Veterinarians have long pondered how long appointments should be and how many they should have on a business day. There has also been a push for shorter visits at some clinics. Half-hour initial consultations were once customary in the United States.
Now, some appointments last just 10 to 20 minutes.
If you’re struggling to provide your clients with all the resources they need in a short time, there are tools available that can help. One such tool is Veterinary Partner®, a free resource developed by the Veterinary Information Network, Inc® (VIN®).
Here's what you need to know:
- What is Veterinary Partner?
- Who are the experts behind it?
- What are the benefits to using it in your practice?
- How do you leverage it effectively (especially durring the current pandemic)?
What is Veterinary Partner®?
Veterinary Partner® is an informational resource that’s free for both veterinarians and pet owners to use.
It contains detailed information about specific diseases, animal health profiles of different species (including horses, pigs, and ruminants), as well as general information about animal first aid, medication, and hands-on treatment.
Veterinary Partner® allows you to send your clients information about their pet’s care without having to draft the materials yourself. Rather than having a lengthy discussion in an exam room, you can send your client a printout or link with all the information they need.
The option to link your client to information is especially important for practicing telemedicine during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Like Pawlicy Advisor, VIN’s Veterinary Partner® is a free resource for veterinary practices and pet parent clients. Other, similar sites do exist, but they usually charge a fee!
NOTE: Veterinary Partner’s® free resource is not intended as a learning tool for veterinary students, nor does it contain thorough medical resources for veterinarians. The educational materials provided in veterinary schools are much more in-depth than the information provided by Veterinary Partner®, which is intended to be understood by clients and laymen. Students should use VIN Students®, a resource specifically for studying.
The Experts Behind Veterinary Partner®
The Veterinary Information Network was founded in 1991 by Dr. Duncan Ferguson and Dr. Paul Pion.
What began as an online Bulletin Board Service (BBS), then evolved into the Pet Care Forum (PCF) and eventually VIN®. Many other experts were invited to join the platform, and several of them are still a part of VIN® as consultants and staff members.
The first VIN® continuing education (CE) course in Endocrinology had just 40 participants. VIN® expanded throughout the 1990s, generating an “offline” edition in the form of a newsletter and even a “Cyber Café” in Breckenridge Colorado. In the 2000s, VIN® expanded its online capabilities, adding additional resources for veterinarians including message boards, library updates, mobile tools, a news service, a student center, and more. VIN® eventually created Veterinary Partner® as a client resource, as well as a more informal blog for clients called VetzInsight.
VIN's Veterinary Parnter® is a trusted source that is updated regularly by internists and other veterinary specialists.
It isn’t sponsored by any brand and it’s renowned for accurate, specialty veterinary advice (Over 75 experts have authored articles on the website).
The Benefits of Using Veterinary Partner®
There are numerous benefits to using Veterinary Partner®. Although it’s no replacement for your expertise or the veterinarian-client-patient-relationship (VCPR), it can be a helpful resource for enhancing your practice and contributing to animal welfare.
In your clinic, Veterinary Partner® serves as an resource for educating clients about their pet’s conditions on-the-fly. It saves you the trouble of generating hand-outs, mailers, and articles for clients across the innumerable variety of illnesses and injuries your practices likely encounters.
Access Free Information
Veterinary Partner® is free for both veterinarians and their clients to use.
You don’t even need to sign up!
Help Clients Care for Their Pets
While clients sheltering at home during COVID-19, it will is essential to provide them with the information they need when they can’t access direct veterinary care for their pets.
Along with your guidance, you can republish Veterinary Partner® content on your veterinary website as a source of accurate information for them.
How to Use the Veterinary Partner® Website
You can use Veterinary Partner® to provide clients with accurate health information. The site covers almost any disease or ailment that might afflict companion animals like dogs and cats, but also farm animals like horses and pigs.
The easiest way to find what you’re looking for on Veterinary Partner® is to use the search feature, but you can also browse by species and category using the sidebar, which is organized alphabetically.
On-demand client handouts
Once you find the article you’re looking for, Veterinary Partner® provides a simple button to print the article on demand by converting it to a PDF. Many veterinarians also email the article to the client. You can find these buttons at the top of the article.
When discussing specific diseases or prescription medicine, you can give a printout or a link your client on-demand. This is particularly useful for those days where your schedule in packed to the brim and you don't have time to spend 10 minutes explaining at-home treatment details to a pet parent.
Here's three additional digital client education handouts worth sharing: pet insurance comparison brochures, an extensive new puppy checklist and guide for pet parents, keeping pets happy & health durring COVID-19.
Perfect for social-distancing
For example, if a client calls about an abscess on their dog or cat, you can provide them with key first-aid information pre-reviewed by internists and veterinary specialists. Being able to email or text links to trustworthy digital resources is massivley helpful to both busy vet practices and pet parents.
If your goal is to educate your clients and save time in the process, Veterinary Partner® is one of the most effective resources for your veterinary clinic. It's a go-to resource for client education as they continue to stay at home during the pandemic.
VeterinaryPartner.com is not affiliated with Pawlicy Advisor - but Pawlicy Advisor does think they're a great free resource that more vet teams should be aware of :)