Your practice may not need to do video consultations right now. However, in the near- future there will be a generational shift in pet ownership. The indicators are that future pet owners will be seeking convenience and lower cost access to pet services. Medechat provides a reliable platform to offer this to your existing clients. Overseas on-line veterinary services are already working with insurance companies to reduce in-clinic visits to the pet insurance company subscribers. Medechat helps combat poaching of your clients to these services. It promotes consultation with your own vets and drives in-clinic visits to your practice, not practices affiliated with other on-line video chat services.
The video chat service provided by Medechat is branded to your vet clinic so it will appear like your own individual service. There may be a small banner to note the service is powered by Medechat but for all intents and purposes it will be your individual vet clinic branding that appears on the platform.
The pet owner can login via the vet surgery website widget or call the surgery directly.
A pet owner can apply for registration on the spot but needs to have a login code and password set up by the vet practice before booking a video chat.
Since the pet owner needs to pre-register with the vet practice, all details required to be a bonafide patient and client will have been already gathered. Since the examination is not meant to be diagnostic and no medication is dispensed, the consultation does not breach any Australian State Vet Board or AVA policy guidelines.
Absolutely! It is an important point of difference of Medechat from other video consultation platform providers that none of your pet owner’s details will be used or sold without their express permission via promotions that they need to subscribe to. This is one of the main reasons that patient history integration with the PMS is at a distance, controlled by the vet clinic admin so there can be no drilling into information or databases by external or internal sources.
Medechat is a business of VetCheck P/L. The company was founded by Dr Moss Siddle BVSc and his wife (Christine). It is not a multi-national corporate organisation and does not have any commercial interests in any other industries. VetCheck P/L has also produced a (free) pet health care app (VetCheck). Dr Moss also owns a veterinary clinic in Victoria.
Dr Moss was very concerned about the rate of vets leaving the profession and the dissatisfaction regarding pay and lifestyle. He set about developing a way to improve the lifestyle and income of vets in line with what pet owners have indicated that they want (convenience, less stress for their pets and lower cost access to veterinary services). (*Based on 2016 AMA study and Bayer 2011 Vet Usage Survey). The ability to work from anywhere and still generate income for the practice is an attractive feature of Medechat.
Marketing is a complicated client acquisition tool. Investment in on-line marketing and direct or indirect advertising may or may not produce results for the clinic. Medechat generates income directly for the practice. This is in addition to in-clinic consultation income, not in place of it. Targeted e-mail newsletters, social media ads, etc still have a place in reinforcing your brand and attracting new clients but Medechat captures the generation of pet owners seeking convenience and trusted, lower cost advice.
Just the opposite. Medechat drives in-clinic visits by allowing lower cost first contact access to professional advice. In a lot of cases a follow up in-clinic examination may be required, or the pet owner may just be seeking general advice that may have normally been sought from the groomer, dog walker, trainer, breeder, etc.
Once a vet clinic has registered interest in hosting Medechat to provide video consultations, information about pricing will be sent. There is an initial once off set up fee to establish the Medechat widget on your clinic website / FB page. There is also a yearly registration fee for each vet using the service (to ensure Vet Board compliance and accurate history recording). Then there is the ongoing software access licence fee which includes all software updates, compliance, tech and admin support and marketing materials and advice to help make Medechat a success for your practice. Your practice may easily cover the monthly cost of Medechat with 3-4 video chats per week, not including the resulting in-clinic examinations, diagnostic work and medications.
Yes, AVA member vets receive their yearly registration fee for FREE.
Pre-payment can be made to the vet reception as a condition of the appointment acceptance or billed later (on account) or by utilizing the in-built payment platform, depending on the policies of the practice. Using the in-built, secure platform is the most reliable way to ensure payment from the pet owner by credit card at the completion of the consultation. An account with the Medechat embedded payment platform (eg. Stripe) will be required. The Medechat admin will help each practice set this up.
Yes, any animal / herd can be examined via video or a farmer may want some time for a consultation about herd health or show the vet the in-paddock symptoms before a farm visit is scheduled.
Your own vets can take video calls if they wish (much safer than attending the surgery to see pets after-hours) or the Medechat platform can refer clients to an available after hours service.
That depends on the vet practice and the type of video examination / consultation. A post-surgery check of sutures might be no charge, a behaviour consultation may be based on time (for example $4 / minute or a flat fee of $300-$500+). As a rough guide, for standard 15-20 minute video consultations Dr Moss suggests around half the price of an in-clinic hands-on examination (for example most practices may charge $33-$55). If the consultation runs over time, a second consultation charge will be automatically billed. There will be adequate warning that the time limit is approaching. This helps keep vets on track with their appointments.
No, it is Dr Moss’ opinion that it is better to utilize a discount voucher to be sent with the video consultation summary to be used at your vet clinic only within a few days of the video chat (for the same presenting problem).
Not necessarily. The discount voucher issued afterwards (if utilized) for an in-clinic examination will be less than the cost of the video consultation. If the pet owner doesn’t come in for an in-clinic examination as recommended, you aren’t out of pocket. If they do come in, further diagnostic procedures can be utilized, or medication can be dispensed if required.
Yes, you can. However, to be Vet Board compliant there needs to be a way of recording and documenting the consultation with full pet owner consent, as well as linkage of the consultation to the specific patient and client. Medechat securely adheres to these requirements, records the video consultations, clearly seeks the owners informed consent prior to consultation and permanently links the consulting vet to the video chat. Patient histories have a standard, compliant template (customizable to the vet or practice) to send back to the PMS for incorporation into the patient history. Tech and admin support are always available with Medechat. Use of free platforms like Skype, Facetime or Zoom for commercial purposes and to generate income is a breach of their conditions of use.
Yes, the admin user at your clinic has full control over bookings and registration of clients.
Yes. The yearly registration fee is payable for each year or part thereof that the vet works, calculated from the anniversary date that Medechat was functional at your surgery.
Only the vets wanting to perform video consultations through Medechat will need to be registered. It is not Vet Board compliant to perform a video consultation under another vet’s name. The video recordings will be linked to the specific vet that logs in to perform the video chat.
Yes, however Medechat admin will need to perform this alteration and there will be additional charges if this occurs.
Yes, however they will need to be assigned to a particular registered vet (possibly a practice owner vet) that can take responsibility for the advice given if there was ever a Vet Board complaint. RCVS registered vet nurses based in the UK are able to do consultations under their own name. The same annual charge will apply to a registered nurse as it is to registered veterinary surgeons.
Yes, of course. Video chats would be perfect to incorporate into wellness plans either at a discount or included in the subscription.
Medechat will be in contact to arrange suitable times for widget placement on your practice website / social media pages. Dates for training and a marketing plan for the practice will be arranged to ensure successful use of Medechat.
This depends on the size of your practice and how complicated the software integration will be. Generally, 1-3 months for complete integration / implementation on average may be expected.
Yes, the Medechat software access can be cancelled or deactivated at any time, however 12 months minimum subscription to the service is required to be paid. If Medechat is not financially viable for your practice it would most likely be due to inadequate utilization or marketing of the service. Our marketing team will be able to help your practice to ensure Medechat is viable. There will be a fee to remove the software widget and code from your website or FB site if you require Medechat to do this.