Category: Preventive Care

Spotting & Filling Gaps in Preventive Care Reminders – compliance only 1/2 the issue.

Many patients may be missing one or more of the preventive care vaccines and services you recommend, simply because the reminder has not yet been set up.

“Patient Compliance” measures whether a patient is getting the vaccines and services you’ve designated for them in reminders.

But, what percent of your active patients are missing a preventive care vaccine or service that is core or advised in your standard of care…because a reminder hasn’t even been set up for it yet.  This is a very critical missing metric:   S.I.R.  your Standard-of-care Implementation Rate.   Here is an example:

(A SIR report on your practice is available for free by requesting it from

You may have a strong 50-70% 90-day compliance on Distemper Vaccines.  But, if only 72% of your active canine patients have a distemper reminder on file… that means that a hidden nearly 30% of your patients are missing key preventive care you may have in your core recommendations.

(This analysis, of course, is tied to the vaccines/services that your practice considers core or advised.  And, obviously some vaccines are contingent on the lifestyle of each particular patient.)


Filling the Gaps – 2 options


1. Catchup

It can easily happen that a particular vaccine/service just never got set up for a particular pet, especially as a patient ages and their preventive care needs change.

a. One common option for filling in missing preventive care, is considering, with every visit, what additional core/advised care and reminders should be added.  (It might be helpful to have an exam-time prompt or checklist for the vet or staff showing what is missing for that patient.  See article on “New In-Clinic Tool to Promote Preventive Care”.)

b. Another option is that you could have your staff go through your patients and add reminders for the missing vaccines/services.   (your reminder service should be able to provide a list of your active patients and any core/advised services they are missing)


2. Automated Addition of Services as “Also Recommended” 

However, you may well not have the staff time available to go back patient-by-patient and add the missing preventive care.  Very understandable!!

As an alternative, some reminder services let your practice designate what vaccines/services your practice considers core or advised.  And, then automatically added those missing items as “Also Recommended”.


Example:  So, if Bella has never had a reminder set up for a Distemper Vaccine, but you consider distemper a core or advised vaccine, Distemper is added as an “Also Recommended” vaccine to Bella’s reminder.

In this way, you can spot and fill-in the key preventive care you consider important for the health of your patients.   And, over time you are boosting your Standard-of-care Implementation and, most importantly, the preventive health of your patients!!

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: Preventive Care — Strategies and Protocols for Promoting Patient Health

One of the most influential resources in the industry for promoting the preventive care of patients is the series of guides on Preventive Care published by the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA), in conjunction with IDEXX.

Each Preventive Care booklet has been a collection of articles from veterinarians and practice managers outline how to implement, expand and promote preventive care services, and the value of doing so.

One key piece of guidance is to fully inform and reinforce with clients the importance and value of preventive care… in vet and team communication, protocols and support materials.

Historically practices have developed and implemented preventive care protocols and plans and then communicated those protocols and plans through the services they offer and recommend to clients in-clinic and on their website. Some practices reinforce various aspects of preventive care in their in-clinic and website client education materials.

But, another untapped way to let clients know what your preventive care standards are is to incorporate them into your pet portal/app, so that clients know what you recommend as essential/advised preventive care. Some of the new portals/apps have this capability. You can then show what vaccines/services each pet has been set up for and what preventive care needs to be added. In this way you are actively promoting preventive care continuously, between visits.

Other Views: Preventive Care — It Takes a Team

Key Insights

Many veterinary experts emphasize that Preventive Care of pet patients is most effective when there is a concerted team effort. When all the team believes in the importance of preventive care protocols and communicate this to clients, then clients are far more likely to get the message and buy-in to preventive recommendations. (In addition, they are more likely to perceive that the practice cares about, and is fully committed to, the health of their pets.)

The consensus view is patient health is improved with a consistent and ongoing communication with clients about the importance of preventive care. Face-to-face interactions with vets and the full vet team is the foundation. But, communication before, after and between visits is a critical way to reinforce this messaging and build client commitment.

Easier, More Effective Client Communication

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