Category: Client Education

Promoting Client Preventive Care Education Between Visits — leverage your client communication!!

How can we provide easy access to preventive care education between visits that is specific to each furry family members?

Between-visit Client Communications offer a superb, but untapped way to help educate clients about the preventive care, specifically for their pets.

Customize Your Reminders to promote preventive care

If your reminder messaging can be customized, then you can deliver a message focused on the importance of one or more preventive care vaccines/services, specifically for each patient.  Often, this can take the form of a “Tip”.   The focus, ideally, can be a preventive care vaccine or service that has not yet been fulfilled, or that that pet is not yet set up for.

Pet-Specific Preventive Care Education in your pet portal/app

If your pet portal and/or app can be customized, you may be able to call to the client’s attention the core and advised preventive care recommended for their particular pets.

  1. If available, include, a health “checklist” with the preventive care vaccines and services your practice recommends for dogs/cats that are part of your standard of care.
  2. Show what vaccines/services are set up for each patient (current/due/past-due), and what recommended preventive care is not yet set up for that pet. If possible, indicate that those missing key additional vaccines and services as “also recommended”.  This can prompt the pet owner to ask about these preventive care vaccines/services for that pet.  Ideally you can give them a ready, one-click way to request missing or past due vaccine/services.
  3. Keep in mind that not all pet owners know about the different vaccines and services you offer.  So, if possible, include a link by each vaccine and service that tells the client Why that vaccine/service is important to the health of their pet.

Historically, between-visit reminder and pet portal/app communication has not been used as a way to deliver pet-specific preventive care education.  But, new customizable reminders and upgraded portals and apps present an excellent ongoing way to address the preventive care needs of the individual patient.

Here is an example of how one pet portal presents the standard of care checklist and details of the importance of each vaccine/service recommended for that pet.

New In-Clinic Tool to Promote Preventive Care & Client Engagement

There is now a new easy exam room tool for vets and staff to use to get clients more engaged in the preventive care of their pets.

The vet or tech can easily  pull up and show the client their portal/app page with the vaccines and services set up for each of their pets and those other items that are also recommended. 

In this example, the vet/staff may discuss with the client adding annual Bloodwork for early detection, a dental health evaluation, and heartworm and flea/tick protection for their pet Charlie.

[The client has their portal page on their own phone (or computer at home), and a link is included in every reminder that connects them directly to that page (no install or login required).   The vet or tech can email and text this link to the client, right as they are talking.]

If you have a pet portal or app with a health checklist built in, you can pull up a particular patient’s checklist, right in the exam room and show the client how they can easily see your practice’s standard of preventive care and how they can see which vaccines and services their pet needs.

This gives the practice and veterinarians a really simple tool to have a Standard of Preventive Care discussion with the client… that they can always get back to and track progress.

Pet ID Built In
Ideally the portal/app, has an electronic version of each patient’s Pet ID card they can use/send, in case then need to provide it to a boarding/grooming facility.

Other Views: Client Education — Where & How to Support Client Understanding

Key Insights

There are many places and ways experts point to, for providing clients with information about the preventive care of their pets: crucial brief in-clinic conversations, posters/handouts, on the website, social media and now in the portal/app.

  • A Group Effort–Improving Client Education & Compliance — Dr. Amanda Donnelly.
    Dr. Donnelly, veterinary client communications expert and VetPartners consulting organization member, advises that client education and patient preventive-care engagement begin with in-clinic interactions, management and training. As she says: “Don’t assume what clients know”. She then outlines steps for staff training and alignment around preventive health.
  • Educate Your Clients on the Value of Preventive Care Diagnostics — Sandy Walsh, RVT, CVPM.
    Sandy is a practice management consultant and VHMA and VetPartners consulting organization member. She asserts that interaction with the client from first visit through each follow-up is the best way to educate/inform the client about preventive care and emphasize the importance of preventive care for the health of the owners pet(s). But, Sandy also how you can continue and reinforce the preventive-care education conversation… on the website, the practice portal/app and in social media.
  • Client Education: a Vital Role for Veterinary Technicians — Penn Foster Blog (Emma Rose Gallimore).
    Another commentary pointing to the importance of involving veterinary technicians (and we would add, other members of the vet staff) in educating clients about important preventive care for their pet(s).
  • 3 Pointers for Parasite Prevention Education and Broaching Parasite Preventives with Clients — Beckie Mossor, RVT, Julia Burke Assistant Editor DVM 360.
    Ms Mossor also focuses on in-clinic client education, briefly discussing how important it is to try to understand the client’s mindset and knowledge, before deciding what preventive health guidance to offer.
  • DVM360 Toolkits: e.g. DVM360 Toolkit for Heartworm Disease, and DVM360 Vaccines Toolkit.
    For selected client education topics, DVM360 has put together toolkits that help train staff with communication tactics for discussing key preventive care topics with clients. They also include handouts and social media post messaging that the practice can use.
  • Client Education Materials — AVMA and Steal These Veterinary Client Handouts! — DVM360.
    There are many sources that promote preventive care client education through the use of handouts and posters in-clinic. AVMA and DVM360 are just 2. LIfeLearn and VIN are 2 other subscription services that include handouts and website content covering preventive care topics.
  • 5 Ways to Ramp Up Your Veterinary Practice’s Client Education Game — VetSource Blog; and, Client Education Through Online Videos or Online Classes — MWI Blog (Roxanne Hawn)
    But, as these commentators suggest, client education can and should be readily available beyond the clinic. Websites are clearly the most common place to make client education available to clients. (videos are an increasing popular way to engage clients and help them understand the preventive care of their pets)

While In-clinic education, by your full vet team, is the main point for client education. The in-clinic time is often limited. Website-base preventive care education is an important way to provide on-demand access to information about various preventive care topics.
Now you can incorporate client education as part of many pet portals/apps. It can be most relevant and impactful if you can tell clients what your Standard of Preventive Care vaccines and services are, in your pet portal/app. This lets them (a) see which of your recommended preventive care has been set up for each of their pets, and what preventive care should/might be added, and (b) lets them get answers, right at that point, about why each of your recommended vaccines, tests and services are important to the health of their pet.

Easier, More Effective Client Communication

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