Last modified: 1 January 2018
The practice of telemedicine is intended to supplement and extend veterinary care where appropriate so that a greater number of animals receive the highest quality of medical attention in prompt fashion. Telemedicine is a valuable service for the equine industry, but is not intended to replace live on-site veterinary visits.
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MEMBERSHIP SUBSCRIPTION FEES
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CHANGES TO PROFESSIONAL MEMBERSHIP CLASSIFICATION
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GetSound.com reserves the right to modify its membership classifications at any time, upon a reasonable notice posted in advance on the Site.
For more information on changing or canceling your membership, check the Site or contact Customer Support.
1. The Practice of Telehealth
The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) currently recognizes the practice of veterinary telehealth, telemedicine and teleconsultation. See http://navc.com/download/AVMA_Telemedicine_Report_2016.pdf and https://www.avma.org/KB/Resources/Reports/Pages/Telemedicine-Report-AVMA-Practice-Advisory-Panel.aspx for more information. Appropriately, VCPR rules and regulations that pertain to the practice of veterinary telehealth, telemedicine and teleconsultation will be defined and implemented in the foreseeable future.
GetSound.com is committed to the appropriate and lawful practice of veterinary medicine, and abides by the principles and regulations put forth by the Veterinary Medical Profession. We aim to develop and maintain a responsible platform for the evaluation of horses through telemedical and teleconsulting means.
1.1 VETERINARY-CLIENT-PATIENT RELATIONSHIP (VCPR)
The Veterinary Client Patient Relationship (or VCPR) is a convention that is designed to protect the animal owner from inappropriate and fraudulent veterinary medical activity. It is the foundation of contemporary veterinary medical ethics and is central to the effective delivery of high-quality animal care in the diagnosis and treatment of disease.
Each country and state may publish their own VCPR definition, which requires that a licensed veterinarian maintain current one-on-one knowledge of veterinary patients. To review the VCPR Definition as it applies to your state, go to https://www.avma.org/Advocacy/StateAndLocal/Documents/vcpr_and_prescriptions.pdf
TELEHEALTH, TELEMEDICAL AND TELECONSULTATION SERVICES ARE NOT INTENDED TO REPLACE A VETERINARY-CLIENT-PATIENT RELATIONSHIP (VCPR).
Important VCPR Considerations for the GetSound.com Professional:
- The dispensing of a veterinarian’s opinion is considered the practice of veterinary medicine. The dispensing of a veterinarian’s opinion via electronic means is considered the practice of veterinary telemedicine.
- Any telemedical advice provided outside of an established VCPR must be given in general terms, not specific to an individual animal, diagnosis or treatment.
- The practice of telemedicine shall only be conducted within an existing VCPR, with the exception of advice in an emergency care situation, which may be provided until local veterinary intervention can occur.
- The veterinarian who established the VCPR is responsible for and has the liability to manage the case and must have a license in the state in which the VCPR was established.
Teleconsulting Services must occur on a Veterinarian-to-Veterinarian basis), unless the Teleconsulting Veterinarian also maintains an active VCPR with the Client.
Any Consultant who is giving advice to the veterinarian of VCPR does not have to be licensed in that state, unless the VCPR of that state specifically states otherwise. In the case of teleconsultation, communication to the client must go through or be controlled by the veterinarian who has established a VCPR.
1.3 EMERGENCY CARE
In the event of a veterinary medical emergency, the GetSound.com Client should seek immediate local assistance. Arrangements for immediate and follow-up evaluations may be arranged through a GetSound.com Professional, but must directly involve the primary veterinarian maintaining an appropriate VCPR.
1.4 INHERENT RISKS ASSOCIATED WITH THE PRACTICE OF TELEMEDICINE
As with any health service, there are potential risks associated with the implementation of Veterinary Telehealth. These risks include, but are not limited to:
- Compromised Image Acquisition and Transmission. In rare cases, transmitted images may not be of sufficient quality to allow for accurate evaluation and appropriate diagnostic and treatment planning.
- Delayed Image Acquisition and Transmission. Delays in evaluation or treatment could occur due to failures of the electronic equipment implemented during telemedical assessment. If this happens, you may be contacted by phone or other means of communication.
- Medical Record Inaccessibility. In rare cases, the inability to access medical records may result in adverse drug interactions or allergic reactions or other medical judgment errors.
- Exposure to Legal Ramifications. In some cases, the GetSound.com Client may not identify a primary veterinarian (by checking the “I don’t have a primary veterinarian” box on their Profile page) and may therefore not be party to a VCPR. In this event, the summoned GetSound.com Professional may be at risk of providing telemedical services (and therefore practicing veterinary medicine) outside of an established VCPR.
1.5 THE USE OF PROFESSIONAL DISCREPANCY
The GetSound.com Professional understands and accepts that he/she will be expected to use his/her judgement to determine whether telemedicine is appropriate to each specific circumstance, and assumes all liability associated with accepting requests for Telemedical Services on the GetSound.com Site.
1.6 RIGHT OF SERVICE REFUSAL
The Professional Member summoned for GetSound.com Services may determine, by his/her own discretion, that Telemedical Evaluation is not appropriate in some cases. As a GetSound.com Professional Member, you retain the right to refuse Telemedical Services for any reason.
GetSound.com does not work directly with Equine Health Insurance Companies, and is not responsible for contacting any Health Insurance Company nor filing or collecting insurance claims related to Equine Telehealth Services.
2. Rules of Consultation & Professional Conduct
2.1 THE GETSOUND.COM APP
The GetSound® App is for Professional Use only and is to be utilized exclusively within the GetSound® Network. Each product is individually registered and licensed for employment by its owner, who must be a certified GetSound® Evaluator. Detection of inappropriate, extraneous or unauthorized use of the App may result in its immediate deactivation.
2.2. THE DIAGNOSIS OF LAMENESS AND/OR OTHER PATHOLOGY (IES)
The GetSound.com Platform is designed to provide seamless communication between equine professionals and equestrians for the purpose of viewing animals in a variety of clinical settings. As such, the service is intended to facilitate and enhance the visual assessment portion of the examination process. Professionals should avoid making specific diagnoses based solely on visual observations gleaned through telemedical assessment. Procurement of a specific diagnosis is accomplished through standard on-site diagnostic techniques including physical examination, flexion testing, local anesthesia, diagnostic imaging, etc. The primary roles of the professional evaluator, therefore, are to assist the client in the recognition of a problem and to provide diagnostic guidance.
- Inappropriate Statement: “Your horse has right front fetlock osteoarthritis.”
- Appropriate Statement: “Your horse’s gait deficits are consistent with right front limb lameness and may suggest an issue in the lower limb. I would recommend scheduling on-site lameness examination.”
2.3. DIAGNOSTIC IMAGE REVIEW & INTERPRETATION
Direct interpretation of diagnostic images (e.g. radiographic, ultrasonographic, scintigraphic, endoscopic, MRI, etc.) for clients is considered the practice of veterinary medicine and can only be conducted by licensed veterinarians. Other equine professionals (farriers, trainers, chiropractors, etc.) are not permitted to interpret and report on diagnostic images, unless specifically summoned by a veterinarian for exclusive inter-professional use. Inappropriate interpretation of diagnostic images will be grounds for professional membership resignation.
2.4. PROFESSIONAL-TO-PROFESSIONAL CONDUCT
Professional members within the GetSound.com Network will have the opportunity to unite forces with other professional members for the purpose of providing horse owners with sound guidance. Professional content posted on the site will be moderated for ethical and quality control. Case discussions are encouraged, but must not be confrontational, adversarial or judgmental. Comments should be focused on the topic-at-hand. Deliberate or suggestive calumny, disparagement or defamation of another professional’s character and/ or work is not permitted within the GetSound.com Network. Such behavior will be grounds for immediate professional membership resignation.
2.5. CONSULTATION & REPORTING TURN-AROUND
As a Professional Member of the GetSound.com Network, you agree to perform image review and complete your consultation within the advertised turn-around time-frame. Failure to complete your consultation within the advertised time-frame will result in forfeit of the Consultation Fee, which will be directly refunded to the client. Failure to complete three (3) Consultations within the advertised time-frame will be grounds for Professional Membership resignation.
3. Prohibited Use of the Site
The uses described in these Terms are prohibited regardless of where on the Site they occur.
3.1 ILLEGAL, FRAUDULENT, HARMFUL, OR OFFENSIVE USES
You may not use, or encourage, promote, facilitate, or instruct or induce others to use, the Site or Services for any activities that violate any law, statute, ordinance or regulation; for any other illegal, fraudulent, harmful, or offensive purpose; or to transmit, store, display, distribute or otherwise make available content that is illegal, harmful, or offensive.
Examples of prohibited uses of the Site or Site Services include:
- Seeking, offering, or endorsing illegal, obscene, or pornographic services or activities.
- Posting content that is offensive, defamatory, profane, vulgar, obscene, threatening, discriminatory, illegal, pornographic, obscene or sexually explicit in nature.
- Seeking, offering, or endorsing any services that would violate GetSound.com’s Terms of Service or the terms of service of another website or any other contractual obligations.
- Seeking, offering, or endorsing any services that violate the academic policies of any educational institution.
- Fraudulently billing or attempting to fraudulently bill any Client.
- Expressing a preference in a service contract or otherwise unlawfully discriminating on the basis of race, religion, color, national origin, ancestry, physical or mental disability, medical condition, genetic information, marital status, sex, gender, gender identity, gender expression, age, sexual orientation, military/veteran status or any basis protected by applicable law.
- Posting content that is harassing towards another person or violates the rights of a third party.
- Posting identifying information concerning another person.
- Making or demanding bribes.
- Making or demanding payments without the intention of providing or receiving services in exchange for the payment.
- Spamming other Users.
- Using any robot, spider, scraper, or other automated means to access the Site for any purpose without our express written permission or collecting or harvesting any personally identifiable information, including Account names, from the Site.
- Engaging in any conduct that is reasonably likely to or that is intended to harm the Site, including (i) imposing an unreasonable or disproportionately large load (in our sole discretion) on the Site’s infrastructure; (ii) interfering or attempting to interfere with the proper operation of the Site or Site Services or any activities conducted on the Site; (iii) bypassing any measures we may use to prevent or restrict access to the Site or any subparts of the Site, including, without limitation, features that prevent or restrict use or copying of any content or enforce limitations on use of the Site or the content therein; or (iv) attempting to interfere with or compromise the system integrity or security or decipher any transmissions to or from the servers running the Site.
3.2 USING THE SITE FOR UNINTENDED PURPOSES
GetSound.com makes the Site and Services available for Clients and Equine Professionals to find one another, enter into service relationships, make and receive payments through escrow, and receive and perform Professional Telemedical Services. Users are expected to use the Site and Services for their intended purposes and Users may not use the Site and Services in contravention of their intended purposes. The following are examples of prohibited use of the Site:
- Offering services for the sole purpose of obtaining positive feedback of any kind.
- Requesting, demanding, or receiving free services.
- Withholding payment or Work Product or engaging in any other conduct for the purpose of obtaining positive feedback from another User.
- Attempting to falsify, manipulate, or coerce another User by threatening to post negative feedback.
- Misusing the feedback feature to express views unrelated to the work, such as political, religious, or social commentary.
- Duplicating or sharing membership accounts.
- Selling, trading, or giving a membership account to another person without GetSound.com’s consent.
- Processing payment outside of GetSound.com in violation of the Terms of Service.
- Advertising products or services that are outside or beyond the scope of the GetSound.com marketplace.
- Advertising on GetSound.com to recruit Professionals to join a Corporate Entity (such as a veterinary practice or farrier association) or another website or company.
3.3 USING THE SITE TO POST FALSE OR MISLEADING CONTENT
All profiles, Service Contracts and other content posted to the Site must be truthful and not misleading. Here are examples of prohibited uses:
- Misrepresenting a Professional’s experience, skills, degrees, or information.
- Impersonating any person or entity, including, but not limited to, a GetSound.com representative, or falsely stating or otherwise misrepresenting your affiliation with a person or entity.
- Falsely attributing verbal or written statements to any GetSound.com representative.
- Allowing another person to use your account.
- Falsely stating or implying a relationship with GetSound.com or with another company with whom you do not have a relationship.
- Falsely stating or implying a relationship with another User, such as a veterinarian or Corporate Entity (such as a veterinary practice or teaching hospital) continuing to use a Professional Member’s profile or information after the Professional is no longer affiliated with the Corporate Entity.
- Falsely stating that one Professional Evaluator will perform the consultation when in fact another will perform the consultation.
We reserve the right, but do not assume the obligation, to investigate any violation of these Terms. We may investigate violations and may remove, disable access to, or modify any content that violates these Terms.
We may report any activity that we suspect violates any law or regulation to appropriate law enforcement officials, regulators, or other appropriate third parties. Our reporting may include disclosing appropriate User information. We also may cooperate with appropriate law enforcement agencies, regulators, or other appropriate third parties to help with the investigation and prosecution of illegal conduct by providing network and systems information related to alleged violations of these Terms.
“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. The GetSound.com 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 with respect to the medical care of a specific patient.