Wisconsin Joins the Coalition for Connected Veterinary Care

Nov 1 | Advocacy, News

 By Steve Erickson, DVM 

The AVMA is a lead partner in the Coalition for Connected Veterinary Care, an alliance of veterinary and animal health organizations working to help veterinarians explore and adopt telehealth tools in practice. 

The Coalition for Connected Veterinary Care launched on July 30 at AVMA Convention 2022 in Philadelphia. The founding members are the AVMA, Veterinary Study Groups, Merck Animal Health, and more than 30 other national and state veterinary organizations, including the AABP, AAEP, and National Veterinary Associates. The executive board voted to have the WVMA join at the September meeting. 

The Mission of the Coalition for Connected Veterinary Care To collaborate across the veterinary and animal health industry to enhance and expand care by leveraging technology, while safeguarding the welfare of animals and people. 

 The coalition will develop education and resources to help veterinarians integrate telehealth into their practices to strengthen client relationships and improve patient care. It also aims to build awareness of the opportunities that telehealth presents to enhance practice success. Further, the coalition will advocate for regulatory actions that support the use of telehealth while respecting the integrity of the veterinarian-client-patient relationship (VCPR) and ensuring the safety of veterinary patients and the confidence of their owners in the quality of veterinary care provided. 

Veterinary telehealth and, in particular, telemedicine holds great promise for improving continuity of care and strengthening the relationship between veterinarians, their clients, and their patients. Used appropriately, telemedicine can enhance accessibility, client communication, and ongoing monitoring and care of veterinary patients. The veterinarian-client-patient relationship is fundamental to veterinary practice, and establishing it appropriately is necessary for the responsible provision of high-quality veterinary care. Veterinary telemedicine should only be conducted within an existing VCPR. An in-person examination or timely visits to the premises where the animals are kept is critical to establishing the VCPR. 

The use of telehealth in the veterinary profession, including telemedicine, increased during the COVID-19 pandemic, but many veterinary practices are not taking full advantage of available tools. This presents our profession with a challenge: How can we increase awareness of the benefits of telehealth and encourage more veterinarians to use tools of telehealth in practice? The AVMA and Coalition members believe that the answer lies in a collaborative approach to better serve patients, clients, veterinary teams, and practices by demonstrating how telehealth can strengthen those relationships, improve continuity in patient care, and engage technology to advance patient care and practice efficiency. Working together, the Coalition for Connected Veterinary Care provides advocacy and resources that respect the integrity of the veterinarian-client-patient relationship and support how veterinarians practice. 

Please see the AVMA website, and search ‘Telehealth & Telemedicine in Veterinary Practice’ for more information and resources.