Hope is on the horizon

dvm360dvm360 July 2021
Volume 57

Signs of better times ahead in veterinary medicine, plus a closer look at curbside care and how it’s transforming our profession.

With only 6 months left in 2021, many of us are elated about the direction in which the rest of the year is heading. As more people get vaccinated to help stop the spread of COVID-19 and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines slowly loosen, our profession is entering a “newer normal.”

I never imagined that our profession would have had to implement curbside care. But we defied all odds and successfully adapted to the drastic, sudden protocols. Now, many practices are allowing clients to enter their facilities safely.

Webinars polling the veterinary community about curbside care preferences have revealed mixed responses. Some clients prefer this new method of care, whereas others opt for the traditional face-to-face interaction. Veterinary professionals also share opposing views. Some have expressed that patients have behaved better away from their owners; others have shared their frustrations and concerns about virtually communicating treatment plans, laboratory results, and radiographs, including a loss in translation.

Regardless of where you stand, curbside care appears to be here to stay, possibly into the years ahead. Some practices are utilizing it for surgery drop-offs, technician visits (such as nail trims, anal sac expressions, subcutaneous fluids, etc), and recheck visits to help increase workflow and provide better in-person client interaction during wellness checks and sick visits. In addition to curbside care, more hospitals are offering telehealth services to help offset their hectic schedules. Telehealth has provided doctors the unique opportunity to see patients from the comfort of their homes.

These are just a few of the many exciting, innovative ways in which our profession has adapted and evolved during this worldwide crisis. I look forward to seeing how the rest of 2021 shapes up and wish you well. Please stay safe and thank you as always for your essential work.

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