Case study

How The Vet extended their veterinary clinic (digitally!) using PetsApp

The Vet have been working with PetsApp since March 2020 in order to introduce an entire telemedicine arm to their business.

March 2020

started using PetsApp

70%

of active patient base

73

daily pet owner interactions

~ 50%

post-op consults through PetsApp

The Vet is an eight clinic veterinary group based across the United Kingdom. They’ve been working with PetsApp since March 2020 in order to introduce an entire telemedicine arm to their business.

The Vet’s mission is to provide access to Gold Standard veterinary health care for all, and strive to offer a service akin to that which would be expected in human medicine. This includes integration of technology to improve accessibility and convenience, making veterinary care as available as possible.

Issue

Speaking to Rebekah Dudek (Clinical Director) from The Vet’s telemedicine team, their reasoning to introduce PetsApp was solely based on providing a new type of service for their pet owners.

“We were looking to offer video consulting services even prior to COVID-19. At the start of 2020, we recognised that there was a proportion of our clients that would find remote healthcare to be of preference as opposed to attending in-clinic,” she said. “Looking at that feedback, we wanted to make our healthcare services as accessible as possible for these clients.”

“PetsApp offered us the platform we needed to allow us to both chat with clients via messenger services, as well as providing video consults,” continues Sian Clarke (Centre Director). “It appeared to be a platform that had familiarity to it already, both in name and how it works, to other chat and video call services most people already have on their phones.”

Solution

Rebekah and Sian couldn’t believe how quickly PetsApp became a part of their clinic’s workflow. “It is a system that is so easy to adopt - within half an hour it immediately felt like a smooth and integrated service,” said Sian.

More importantly, their vision of offering a remote animal healthcare service could be realised. “PetsApp enabled us to continue providing services to pets throughout - and now beyond - the recent lockdowns. It’s now set up in a way to provide timely access to veterinary care to those clients who do not have emergency medical cases, but still have issues that affect the care and welfare of their pets,” said Rebekah.

She explained that this may include clients who have difficulties in travel, or those who struggle with bringing their pets into the vets for various behavioural or alternative reasons.

Results

The Vet’s new service was a triumph, and they now have 70% of their active pet base registered on PetsApp.

“We have been able to offer appointments and access to healthcare much sooner for pets that are in need of veterinary attention, and refer to an in-clinic consult if needed. This means the health and welfare of the pets under our care has been greatly impacted,” explained Sian.

Rebekah recalls a particularly busy week in June 2021, where one of the eight clinics saw a huge influx in appointment requests. “They sent in a bulk of veterinary consults over to me, so we could continue to offer Gold Standard veterinary care despite being so busy. After the rush, I calculated that in that week I had provided the equivalent service of 1.5 FTE veterinarians to that one clinic alone. That’s a cost shared amongst eight clinics too.” Looking at their PetsApp usage data confirms this - they are processing an average 73 patient conversations every day.

Sian estimates that nearly 50% of the group’s post-op consults are done over PetsApp too. “These are no longer booked in-clinic, saving us money. We use PetsApp as our 9th practice - we have our physical clinics, and now we have our virtual clinic too!”

Feedback

The Vet shared the glowing feedback from their pet owners about their usage of PetsApp. They say that it is "Easy to access", and "It's like using a dedicated messaging service just for your pets".

Even better, they get a lot of people saying that if it wasn't for video consults they wouldn't have been able to bring my pet to see a vet.

“Only this morning, I saw a cat that was ‘generally unwell’ according to his owner. ‘I don’t think there is anything hugely wrong with him, but I just wanted to be sure,’ he said when booking his appointment through the app,” explains Rebekah. “After a standard remote consultation, I was able to detect a potential urinary problem that could have been very serious had the patient not been seen. That’s now been referred to the clinic. That was an owner who just wasn’t quite sure it was worth seeing a professional, and made it known he probably wouldn’t have dragged his unwilling pet to the clinic to be checked on! PetsApp has made that interaction possible.”