It should be easy enough to make the case that preventive care saves both money and misery by catching illness early enough to treat or manage it. People know this from their own lives, after all: In recent years the push has been on to intervene in the course of disease, with some very good results. But people don’t always seem to make the connection when it comes to their pets.
The well-known and oft-cited Bayer Veterinary Care Usage Study found that the overwhelming majority of veterinarians believe that pets need an annual wellness check, and almost three-quarters of veterinarians believe these visits are their most important contribution to the continued good health of their patients. Yet the same study revealed that a strong majority of veterinarians thinks their clients don’t value these essential annual visits.
Why? How is it that the importance of wellness care can be such an elusive concept for so many pet-owners? It’s likely that there are many reasons, from historical patterns of care to difficulty coming up with funds for annual comprehensive well-pet visits to the time-crunch so many of us feel to the particular challenges presented by our feline patients. There seems to be just as many ways to approach and overcome all of these challenges, as many of us thought-leaders in the veterinary community are sharing with our colleagues.
But there’s one strategy that’s under-utilized, shockingly so in my view. And it’s one every veterinarian, every veterinary technician, every practice-manager and every front-desk staffer can help with putting into action:
The wonderful thing about education? There are immense amounts of free resources everyone in the veterinary community can use. Not long ago, we at Veterinary Pet Insurance were asked to help sponsor and develop the initiative that became the Partners for Healthy Pets. We are among many industry leaders along with the AVMA and AAHA, and the resulting work is truly worthwhile. (Here’s more on the industry leaders behind Pet Partners for Healthy Pets.)
I mentioned the Partners for Health Pets in passing in my last post. But this initiative really deserves a post of its own. The work of many smart and media-savvy people has produced (among other things) a “tool kit” provides top-rate content for any media platform, from Twitter and Facebook to online banner ads and videos. Even better: It’s all free — yes, free! — and so are the guidelines for putting this material into use in your practice today.
Check out this 30-second video, which comes with instructions on how to put it on your own website. Some practices are even “looping” it on monitors in their waiting areas. What could you do with material this good? The possibilities are many!
This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the resources available to help. My advice? Bookmark the Partners for Healthy Pets website and starting using this material. You won’t find anything better, and you certainly can’t beat the price.