How can we teach clients to determine what Internet information is reliable?
The Internet is full of information, both good and bad, says Dr. Christine Merle, MBA, CVPM, a consultant with Brakke Veterinary Practice Management Group and the executive director of VetPartners. To help clients find the good stuff, start by providing them with a list of reputable online destinations, such as your practice's site and those of veterinary schools, professional associations, products you recommend, and other noncommercial or breed-specific pet health sites. To help clients evaluate a site on their own, teach them to look for signs that indicate credibility, like the author's name and credentials, scientific facts that support the information presented, and information based on more than one person's experience.
When clients present you with information they found on the Internet, ask them to forward the link or send you a printed copy. You can then evaluate their findings and go through the information on the phone or at the next visit.