Innovation is transforming the veterinary landscape with the introduction of pet wearables, telemedicine and other technologies. According to the American Veterinary Futures Commission, almost every aspect of veterinary healthcare is affected.
Ultimately, advances in technology lead to improved animal health care, greater efficiencies and reduced costs. To achieve this, though, veterinary practice staff must be able to take full advantage of new technologies and ways of working.
How can you help your team adapt to this changing industry landscape?
Ongoing professional development
Give your team the time and opportunity to seek professional development. This could mean attending conferences, taking courses, getting specific technology training, or even having time to research the latest trends. As team members gain knowledge, they can share with your other staff, helping to introduce new practices and tools.
Also, give your team the opportunity to learn and become more proficient with your current in-house technology. If using your current practice management software is already second nature to your staff, introducing new tools or applications becomes much easier.
Adapt to change
Recent global events showed that adaptability in how we work is also critical. Telemedicine, for example, enables veterinarians to provide healthcare advice and information without needing the patient to visit the practice. When we have to self-isolate and limit our movements, this allows pet owners to keep their pets healthy without an unnecessary trip to a clinic. In turn, veterinarians continue to provide care for their patients, even if they aren’t in the same room.
While this won’t work in every scenario and there are instances where a veterinarian has to physically examine a pet, it does – in the words of the AVMA – enable veterinarians to use “emerging technologies to enhance their accessibility and client communications, and support exceptional patient care.”
The role of technology in veterinary care continues to evolve. Soon, the use of data, machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) will be commonplace in veterinary medicine and practice.