AVMA releases comprehensive veterinary telehealth guidelines

February 2, 2021
dvm360 Staff

The offering is intended to support better patient care, strengthen client relationships, improve efficiency, and increase practice revenue.

As part of its commitment to helping veterinarians leverage new technologies that support the provision of high-quality care, the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) has released what it is calling “a practical guide to the use of telehealth across the entire veterinary profession.”

The “AVMA Guidelines for the Use of Telehealth in Veterinary Practice” address telehealth within the concept of connected care, which is the “integration of digital technologies to enhance and support the veterinarian-client-patient relationship (VCPR) and facilitate proactive and ongoing care through improved communication, diagnosis, and monitoring.”

The guidelines offer a soup-to-nuts look at best practices for integrating telehealth into a veterinary hospital, including:

  • Definitions of key terms related to telehealth
  • Potential applications of telehealth in veterinary practices
  • Regulatory requirements and licensure considerations for the use of telehealth, including the VCPR
  • A sample practice workflow that shows how telehealth can increase efficiency while utilizing team members in the process
  • Technology and workspace needs specific to telehealth
  • Tips for training staff, marketing telehealth services, and engaging clients
  • Pricing strategies

“These guidelines are an extremely helpful resource for veterinary practices at a critical time,” says AVMA President Douglas Kratt, DVM, in a press release announcing the guidelines. “Many services that veterinary practices provide on a daily basis lend themselves well to the use of telehealth, such as post-surgical care, hospice care, general wellness advice, education, and after-hours care.”

You can access the new guidelines here. AVMA members will receive a printed copy with their February 1, 2021, issue of the Journal of the American Veterinary Association.

Additionally, the AVMA has collaborated with the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) to develop step-by-step guidance specific to small animal veterinary practices. A printed copy of the “2021 AAHA/AVMA Telehealth Guidelines for Small-Animal Practice” will be included in the February issue of Trends magazine and in the February 15 issue of JAVMA for members in companion animal practice.