The Basics of Equine Telehealth
What is Teleheath?
Telehealth refers to the overarching term that encompasses all uses of technology geared to remotely deliver health information, education, or care.
Telemedicine is a subcategory of telehealth and refers to a tool, or use of a tool, to augment the practice of veterinary medicine. A phone app which enables the visual assessment of an animal as part of the communication between a professional and client is an example.
Teleconsulting is a subcategory of telehealth that occurs when a primary (local) veterinarian utilizes telehealth tools to communicate with a second (remote) veterinarian for the purpose of gaining insights and advice regarding the medical care of a specific patient.
What are the primary features of a successful equine Telehealth program?
The primary objectives of a successful program are two-fold:
- To give equestrians what they want with respect to instant professional guidance4, and
- To provide veterinary professionals with a platform that enables the convenient, ethical and legal practice of veterinary medicine.
When do veterinarians practice telemedicine?
Anytime a veterinarian provides an opinion regarding a specific animal (no matter how casual that opinion may be) he/ she is practicing medicine. Providing such an opinion from a remote location is the practice of telemedicine. Appropriately, the rules and regulations that govern veterinary medicine also govern veterinary telemedicine. Click HERE for more information.
Do records of telemedical communication(s) need to be maintained?
Actually, your veterinarian is required by law to maintain comprehensive, clear and concise records associated with each and every facet of all telemedical communications. A telemedical consultation make only take a few minutes, but your veterinarian must satisfy an entire checklist of “have to’s” that accompany that consultation. GetSound® has been integral in the development of the current veterinary telemedical protocol and constantly minds this checklist on behalf of the professional.
Why can’t I just text or email my vet?
Because communications generated via these methods are not maintained permanently, securely, and off-site. These records could vanish in the event that you lose or break your phone, for instance. Moreover, these modalities do not provide the veterinarian with a medically-compliant way of providing an opinion.
Not only does GetSound® enable your veterinarian to practice appropriately, but our platform dramatically enhances the overall experience for you:
- Deadlines associated with each consultation service ensure that you will get your answer fast.
- GetSound® empowers your veterinarian with cutting-edge patent-pending video review tools to create beautiful, informative video commentaries right from a smartphone.
What if my vet is not the best one to answer my question?
No problem! The GetSound® platform provides your professional with direct access to the other nine thousand professionals within our global network. Your vet or farrier would simply forward the consultation onto the appropriate individual as needed depending on the nature of the case. This way you get the absolute best answer to your query… every time.
Will I ever have to pay for a farm visit again?
Yes. Your veterinary professional will still need to see your horse on occasion. Intermittent on-site/in-person evaluation is required in order to maintain a viable Veterinary-Client-Patient-Relationship (VCPR).
It is important to remember that telemedical assessment does not replace hands-on examination. Rather, it is performed in place of doing nothing (i.e. no examination at all).