AVMA-led conversations drive innovation for veterinarians

Published on May 14, 2019

One of the important roles of the AVMA is to bring the veterinary profession together to address critical topics to help veterinarians succeed. Two meetings that we hosted recently gathered a diverse range of individuals to brainstorm and map out plans to help clinical practitioners flourish and to leverage virtual care across the profession.

Thriving in Clinical Practice

About 20 people convened at AVMA headquarters in March to identify ways to help veterinary professionals thrive in clinical practice. Veterinarians, technicians, practice managers and others shared personal insights and ideas, and came to this understanding: Thriving is more than just working in a financially successful practice—it’s the state of consistently achieving goals and growth through meaningful work while maintaining balance in all aspects of life.

Once this was defined, the group identified opportunities for growth—everything from becoming more efficient with finances to overcoming fear, and from building great team dynamics to investigating disruptive technologies. The cohort then turned the conversation to considering what tools or resources might help veterinarians prosper more fully in practice.

The AVMA is already using feedback from the meeting to plan new tools to help clinical practitioners and teams. We’re working now on a resource that will help you identify and follow the examples of our most successful peers, and more tools will follow. Keep an eye out for expanded continuing education (CE) offerings, back-office materials, and tips to help you achieve both personal and professional goals.

Veterinary Virtual Care Summit

A second meeting at AVMA headquarters brought together veterinary practitioners, telehealth service providers, and representatives from various partner organizations, to explore how to help the veterinary profession make the most of virtual care. Groups represented included the Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges (AAVMC), National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America (NAVTA), American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA), American Association of Veterinary State Boards (AAVSB), and Veterinary Medical Association Executives (VMAE). Together, we discussed the challenges, benefits, and lessons learned when human medicine first tested the waters of telehealth; the status of current state and federal regulations, specifically around the veterinarian-client-patient relationship (VCPR); and real examples of veterinary telemedicine in practice.

Other topics included:

  • How to best collect and share data to measure the impacts of virtual care on client engagement, satisfaction and retention, compliance, access to care, and patient outcomes
  • Establishing professional guidelines to help veterinarians use telemedicine in ways that benefit our patients, clients, and practices
  • What the future of digital practice might look like

We were particularly excited to see participants share the AVMA’s own enthusiasm for embracing telehealth in veterinary medicine—a question of not why we should implement virtual care, but how best to do so.

As we explore new ways to use technology in veterinary medicine, the AVMA will continue to provide tools and resources to help you succeed. We continue to enhance our Telehealth Resource Center, including new case studies that demonstrate how veterinarians are using modern technology to improve patient care and meet business challenges every day. These will assist practitioners in identifying the opportunities and tools that are right for your practice. We also will routinely review our telemedicine policy to ensure it continues to meet the needs of veterinarians, our patients, and our clients.

We’ll update you as new tools become available. In the meantime, we encourage you to share your own telehealth stories with us by emailing us at Telehealthatavma [dot] org.

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