AAHA and AVMA release new telehealth guidelines

February 17, 2021
dvm360 Staff

The 2021 “Telehealth Guidelines for Small-Animal Practice” will serve as a roadmap for veterinary practices, offering insightful step-by-step solutions to help incorporate telehealth into practice operations.

The American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) and the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) have released the 2021 AAHA/AVMA Telehealth Guidelines for Small-Animal Practice, a step-by-step guide to efficiently integrating telehealth in veterinary practices. This news comes only a week after the AVMA announced the launch of their brand-new Brave Space Certificate Program.

“Every patient-centered phone call, email, and text is telehealth—so many veterinary practices don’t realize they are already doing it,” says Heather Loenser, DVM, AAHA chief medical officer in an association release. “These guidelines provide a framework and share some practical steps to use these technologies more efficiently and effectively.”

The new guide aims to empower the entire team to use Connected Care, a virtual platform that utilizes technologies to better support the relationships between veterinary professionals, clients, and patient care through enhanced communication, diagnosis, and monitoring. Additionally, the platform includes special features like client communication tools and the use of artificial intelligence (AI) to determine diagnostic decisions and monitor the patient remotely.

A key focal point for these guidelines: the integration of telehealth into practice operations by identifying telehealth “champions,” streamlining workflow, and successfully monetizing its use. Other topics featured in the guidelines include considerations for device and platform selection, workspace, internal and external marketing strategies, and more.

“Our profession has been making much progress in seeing wider adoption of technology, especially during the pandemic, and the new AAHA and AVMA guidelines will help practices successfully integrate telehealth into their daily operations,” says Janice L. Trumpeter, DVM, AAHA deputy CEO.

The guidelines will be printed with the February 2021 issue of Trends Magazine. AVMA members with a small-animal practice focus will receive a complimentary copy with their February 15th, 2021 issue of the Journal of the American Veterinary Association (JAVMA).

Boehringer Ingelheim Animal Health USA Inc., CareCredit, and Merck Animal Health have all supported the development of the new guidelines and resources through an educational grant to AAHA.

To download the new guidelines, go here. You can also view them here or here.