Zoom Is NOT Veterinary Telemedicine
When the COVID-19 pandemic and the subsequent shutdowns hit the US, millions of people were forced to hastily find ways to maintain their businesses and continue to serve their clientele. Veterinary clinics were no different. When most municipalities determined that veterinary facilities should remain open as an essential service, clinic owners and doctors scrambled to enact ways to provide care to their patients during the “new normal.”
Social distancing mandates and other pandemic-related regulations made it difficult for clinics to perform consultations like they normally would. Many of them turned to some form of “veterinary telemedicine” to deliver care, but clinics almost immediately ran into a myriad of issues when they tried to use free video conferencing platforms like Zoom to deliver on that level of service.
There are many reasons why clinic owners and doctors have struggled to integrate Zoom with any level of success in their businesses, but here are the top 3 reasons why you should NOT use Zoom as a veterinary telemedicine solution in your clinic:
1. Zoom is only a video conferencing platform.
Zoom does a good job at delivering on their core product: video conferencing. They have allowed businesses, families, friends, schools, churches, etc. the ability to connect with people “face-to-face” even though they might be separated by thousands of miles. Although, as great that may be, you need much more functionality if you plan to use Zoom effectively in a clinical setting. If you are interacting with the pet owners using Zoom, you cannot use that platform to charge for your services, directly shoot pictures or videos back and forth, send and receive clinic forms, and a great number of other limitations. As a clinic, you certainly need more than just the ability to see an animal and their owner on the other end of the phone.
2. Zoom is not tailored for online vet use.
You have likely attempted to use many different technologies inside your clinical practice that did not quite meet your needs or create higher levels of efficiency. It is because that technology, like Zoom, was built with a general and not industry-specific use in mind (the square peg in a round hole analogy comes to mind). If you have tried to use Zoom for veterinary telemedicine and other online vet purposes at your clinic, you already know that their platform cannot help you create a more efficient clinical workflow, effectively triage in advance of a consult, easily merge with your team calendar, reduce your high call traffic at the front desk, or integrate the call information with your practice management software. You need a technology platform with your day-to-day workflow in mind.
3. Zoom is not optimal for pet parents.
Just like clinic owners and doctors, pet parents are trying to simplify their lives by utilizing technology platforms to conveniently meet their needs. For many pet parents, doing an online vet interaction with you via Zoom will require them to set up an account, download an app, decipher the hard-to-follow Zoom call instructions, and then they would still have to interact with the clinic via email and/or phone to share photos, pay their bill, do follow-ups, etc. Additionally, because of the sudden and extreme increase in users and meetings, Zoom has mightily struggled to secure their platform from hacking and infiltration. This becomes a big issue for pet owners concerned about protecting their payment and medical information during an online vet consultation. Pet parents desperately want an easy, hassle-free way to access their veterinarians.
At the end of the day, Zoom is a wonderful free video conferencing tool for you to keep in touch with friends and family, but it is not an effective or efficient tool for veterinary telemedicine.
Luckily, there is a tremendous option for clinics wanting to offer veterinary telemedicine services to their clientele while simultaneously improving their overall clinic workflow.
Improve your veterinary clinic’s workflow this week.
In just 10 minutes, we can show you how you can easily, efficiently, and effectively provide telemedicine, streamline curbside consultations, significantly reduce your call traffic, and improve the workflow for you and your staff.