In their Summer 2021 edition, The Maryland Veterinarian (MDVMA) featured a thought leadership piece from VetEvolve co-founder Paul Habenicht about changes to veterinary practice operations during COVID-19 like the addition of curbside veterinary care. You can check out the full article on their website here.
Curbside Veterinary Care — A Temporary Change or a Long-Term Convenience?
At the start of the pandemic, businesses across industries of every kind were forced to adapt quickly in order to ensure safety while maintaining operations. Veterinary practices were no exception — animal care couldn’t take a pause, so practices made immediate changes like the implementation of curbside veterinary care to keep pet owners separated while continuing to treat their animals.
With curbside services, pet owners arrive with their pets in the parking lot of the clinic and are met by a veterinary professional who brings in the pet for appointments and returns them to the car after as part of a “touchless” service. This reduces the number of people coming into contact with one another in the practice and the chance of infection, ensuring the clinic’s regular, essential services can continue while protecting public health.
For veterinarians, curbside services mean the loss of one-on-one contact with pet owners to discuss important issues about the pet’s health face to face. While phone calls and an exchange of information during the after-appointment pet hand-off help to fill this gap, this still creates a more disjointed system of communication between pet owners and veterinarians.
However, the implementation of curbside veterinary care — like many other curbside pickup and dropoff programs — is more convenient for many pet owners. Instead of waiting weeks while struggling to get an appointment that fits in their schedule, pet owners can get work done, keep their kids entertained, or even run a quick errand during their pet’s appointment. For this reason, at some veterinary practices, curbside care may be here to stay.
Curbside veterinary care has introduced both challenges and benefits for veterinarians and pet owners, making the decision on whether or not to adopt a permanent curbside care option not a “one-size-fits-all” solution. Each practice must know its clients’ and veterinarians’ preferences to make decisions that fit their needs best.
To learn more about how VetEvolve avoids “one-size-fits-all” solutions to create unique, people-focused plans for each facility in our family of veterinary practices, check out our Why Choose VetEvolve page.