Smartphones and other mobile devices are flashy and fun to look at, but they do more than let you play games and watch videos.
Kyle Palmer, CVT, practice manager at Silver Creek Animal Clinic in Silverton, Ore., thinks they're changing the way veterinarians
communicate with clients. Here are two major examples:
> Texting. Phone calls capture tone of voice and other nuances of conversation, but who hasn't played phone tag one too many times with
a client? Today, with clients who ask for it, you can text questions, answers, lab results, and scheduling changes to anyone
with a cell phone.
"We spend a lot of time leaving short messages on people's phones," Palmer says. "In my opinion, e-mail and texting are going
to be standard forms of communication for that in the future." Participants can send, receive, and respond to messages in
their own time. And texts remain in place until you delete them, so you have a record to refer to later.
> Photos and videos. "Some medical problems seem to magically disappear during a veterinary visit," Palmer says. When clients can quickly snap
a picture or record a video on their phone of a pet in the throes of a behavioral or physical problem, you can help more quickly
when the pet shows up at your practice.
Of course, you'll always need to remember your more traditional clients. "Some clients hate e-mail and texting, and they want
the face-to-face way of doing business," Palmer says. Make sure your high-tech ways don't lead some clients to high-tail it
from your practice.