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Veterinarians Making Lemonade Out of Lemons

Veterinarians Making Lemonade Out of Lemons

22 Jun 2020
Schwanda Flowers, Pharm. D.

Clearly, the last few months have not been what anyone expected for 2020. Small businesses across the country are struggling and looking for ways to keep the doors open and take care of employees and customers.

This includes our veterinary practices across the country. Some areas have been hit harder than others, but everyone has felt the impact of the pandemic. In the midst of the struggle, which is real, there is some light shining through the clouds. Trying to focus on the lessons we can learn, and make our own version of lemonade out of the lemons we were dealt has allowed veterinarians across the country to re-envision their processes, work a little differently, and embrace new services they have been putting off. Telemedicine and mobile services are at the top of this list.

For years veterinarians have delivered care over the phone, either follow-up questions from clients, post-procedure follow-up calls, or after-hours calls on current patients. This is the time to formalize that process and utilize telemedicine to take care of these patients, bill for the service, and chart the information. Formalizing these interactions can help your practice benefit from services you were already providing in a less formal manner. With the next generation of pet owners being a virtual generation, telemedicine options will likely be very appealing. Normal will be a new normal and virtual visits and telemedicine are a great way to make a little lemonade out of these lemons.

Mobile practices are also on the rise. Clients are anxious to provide care for their animals without the risk of exposure and maintaining social distancing. Even when the risk lessens, the convenience of curb-side service for our pets is pretty attractive. In a busy world, lots of services'both preventive and specialty'can be delivered by mobile practices. In addition, areas where services are often not available for pet owners can now receive care for their animals.

A recent study found that pet owners were more aware of their pets' needs during the pandemic. As people spend more time at home with their pets, pets are filling a void when social distancing makes interactions difficult. This may be the perfect time to work differently and create a new vision for your practice to meet the needs of our new normal.

Schwanda Flowers, Pharm. D, is a Veterinary Practice Lender at First Financial Bank. She can be reached at sflowers@ffb1.com. First Financial Bank is an Equal Housing Lender.

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