This article is sponsored content brought to you by Medechat.
It’s 11:35pm and vet Julie, has been asleep for half an hour. The phone rings. She answers it quickly so as not to wake her young children and stumbles to the kitchen in the dark. She speaks to the distressed pet owner that had called for urgent advice. The caller’s pet labrador had eaten some chocolate. Still half asleep Julie does some quick calculations and determines that the 35kg labrador had not eaten a dangerous amount of chocolate. She advises the pet owner to monitor the dog over the next few hours and if symptoms of toxicity develop, to call back and she would meet the owner at the surgery for treatment. Julie goes back to bed but tosses and turns struggling to get back to sleep because she is still thinking about the call and whether she calculated the toxic dose of chocolate properly. She also hoped that the pet owner wouldn’t call back because for safety reasons, she would need to wake her partner to attend the surgery with her in the middle of the night. Then both of them would be tired at work the next day!
Although the above scenario is fictional, it could be true for many vets in practice in Australia. Our own Medechat data from the vet practices using VetCheck 24/7 service shows that 87% of after hours calls are not true emergencies that need to be seen urgently. Using our low cost VetCheck 24/7 service powered by the Medechat telehealth platform, vet clinics can take the stress and anxiety of after hours callouts away from their own vet staff.
How does it work? Your vet clinic diverts the after hours calls to our VetCheck 24/7 1800 number. We screen the call and follow your instructions about how to deal with true emergencies that need to be urgently seen. That could involve referral to a local emergency centre, house call service or you could still attend your own emergency callouts if you wish.
The calls that aren’t true emergencies or if it is not clear if it is a true emergency or not are handled via a paid video consultation with one of our VetCheck 24/7 vets. Your clinic receives the history notes from the consulting vet immediately and you get paid a rebate for every completed video consultation. All follow up investigations or treatments are handled by you during normal hours the next day. Your pet owners will be happy that they received emergency triage advice from an experienced, registered vet in the middle of the night. So, sleep easy at night knowing that our vets have you covered!
Here’s what Katrina (practice manager) from Southern Tablelands Veterinary Hospital, NSW says about VetCheck 24/7 powered by Medechat:
“VetCheck 24/7 is great! It takes the pressure off our own vets and makes it a lot easier to attract locum vets. It is extremely important for us to protect the mental health of our vets and VetCheck 24/7 is an active part of that.”