AVMA and AAHA release small animal telehealth guidelines

The American Veterinary Medical Association and the American Animal Hospital Association released a new guide to help small-animal practices improve their telehealth procedures.

The AAHA/AVMA Telehealth Guidelines for Small-Animal Practice are meant to supplement the AVMA’s overarching telehealth guidelines, which the association released earlier in February.

“During the pandemic, a survey of companion animal practices reported a strong increase in the use of telehealth, from 10% to 30%,” said Dr. Douglas Kratt, AVMA president. “Telehealth has supported better and more timely communication with our clients during a time when maintaining physical distance has been critical to their health and the health of the staff in our practices.

“Beyond this immediate need, our experience with telehealth has given us insight into the opportunities remote technologies present for integrating AI into our diagnostic workups and ongoing monitoring of our patients, which ultimately will support more timely intervention when their health is challenged.”

The guidelines focus on practical integration of telehealth into practice operations, by identifying and using telehealth “champions,” streamlining workflow and successfully monetizing its use. Additional topics include considerations for device and platform selection and internal and external marketing strategies.