Compliance, obviously, directly impacts patient health. But, while there is consensus on communicating the importance of preventive care, suggestions vary on the best ways to promote patient vaccine and service compliance.
Two keys are mentioned most: (1) provide the client with full information, so they know what vaccines and services are recommended and when they are due, and (2) make sure members of the vet team are in alignment in communicating the value of preventive services for the health of patients… so clients come back in to get the vaccines and services recommended.
- 6 Tools That Improve Client Compliance in 2022 — Dr. Kate Boatright.
Dr. Boatright recommends engaging clients between visits with a practice app/portal, so that clients are more informed about upcoming vaccines and services. She also recommends forward booking, Med auto-ship programs and longer acting medications to get patients the care needed. She suggests considering telemedicine to supplement/expand patient care access, and pet insurance (we would add wellness plans) to lower financial barriers to care compliance.
(note: Dr. Boatright is one of the leading advocates for Spectrum of Care initiatives, to lower the financial barriers to veterinary patient care. See recent AAHA articles from Oct 22 and Nov 22)
- Seven Strategies to Improve Vaccine Compliance — Wendy Myers.
Wendy is founder of Communication Solutions for Veterinarians a communication training firm. She recommends (a) providing 5 reminders to make sure the client books, (b) telling clients about the vaccines/services recommended during booking, (c) previewing vaccines/services to be done at the start of the visit, and (d) having the vet reinforce the value of protocols during the exam.
- Training Your Team to Help with Client Compliance — Des Whittall.
Des, in his usual practical approach, points to 3 key reasons clients don’t comply: (1) Lack of understanding — simplify and focus the explanation of recommendations, (2) Lack of trust — get all team members clear on consistent prevention protocol messages they use with clients, (3) Perceived lack of value — make sure the client understanding how the vaccine/service directly affects the patients health. The key element, Des says, is training the vet team so they are confident in communicating with clients, because they have knowledge and practice discussing preventive care and the importance of compliance.
- How to Increase Compliance of Pet Owners: Understanding the Human-Animal Bond — Marshall Liger.
Marshall is the hospital administrator (CVPM) for 3 practices in South Carolina and the founder of Liger Veterinary Consulting. He outlines 4 tips to improve pet owner communication and compliance, based on the recent study from the Human-Animal Bond Research Institute (HABRI), that shows the more connected the pet owner feels to their pet and to the practice/staff, the more likely they are to follow the vet’s health recommendations. (1) know which pet owners are most engaged with their pets health (and foster engagement of all clients), (2) train the vet team to engage the owner on the importance of pet health, (3) assess how well the practice is communicating the importance of preventive health compliance to clients, and (4) track compliance improvement for preventives, vaccines, dental and diagnostics.
- 7 Simple Ways to Increase Client Compliance — TeleVet Blog.
Practical steps to promote compliance focused around clear communication of information with clients, that is proactive and easily accessible.
- 5 Ways to Improve Veterinary Client Compliance — Mixlab Blog.
Another list advocating simple, clear communication of information. They recommend leveraging of portal/app technology to engage clients between visits.
The most crucial element of encouraging clients to get the vaccines, tests and services their pet needs, is clear communication of information about what is needed and why it’s important to keep their pet healthy. This takes place in-clinic with face-to-face interaction with the staff and the vet. But, it also can be reinforced before, after and between visits with easy, preventive-care-focused communication in reminders and the pet portal/app. (e.g. getting client’s attention )
There are many views about the best way to boost compliance with a combination of reminders, what reminders, how many, what timing, apps/portals, whether to include forward booking, appointment confirmations, online scheduling. The best client communication system is the one each practice can customize for their particular communication preferences, and the one that clearly tracks your patients’ compliance and your practice performance.