Curbside check-in sets a new standard in veterinary medicine

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Mary Lopez, MSOL, discussed several ways clinics are using roadside care to provide a variety of services to both customers and patients.

The introduction of roadside care during the COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way veterinary clinics deliver their services to customers and patients. The contactless service has made it possible for customers with immunodeficiency or high risk to receive medical care for their beloved pets. How can clinics use this new standard of care?

During her presentation at the Fetch dvm360® San Diego conference, Mary Lopez, MSOL, Hospital Manager and Area Manager at National Veterinary Associates in Boise, Idaho, revealed to attendees how roadside services are being delivered in the industry and how this new form of care is helping to relieve both the doctors and the support staff.

What is curb communication?

Lopez went into efficient communication with customers when using curb stops. A key component is consistency, especially when talking to clients about your clinic’s current operations and practices. Some of the initiatives that Lopez highlighted are:

  • Create a quarterly newsletter or email customers with up-to-date operating guidelines and curb services are still available
  • Add system messages to your online booking tool indicating your message about the COVID-19 process
  • Include an emergency banner on your website to remind customers that you’re still open and offering roadside service
  • Post on your social media pages (e.g. Facebook banners, posts, profile pictures, etc.)
  • Order outdoor signage through your clinic’s roadside check-in process, such as A-frames, window posters, and feather flags, to name a few.

Check-in process

For an efficient check-in process, clinics should provide parking lots with a clear message on how customers can check in for their appointment or collect medication. Parking signage should also have large font that can be easily read by a vehicle with concise messages (e.g. QR codes or a phone number to check in). In addition, virtual maintenance functions such as calls, SMS or the use of a mobile app service can streamline the check-in process and thus reduce stress for customer service representatives (CSRs). In addition, Lopez stressed that it is equally important to educate customers about what their visit will entail and highlight safety precautions such as:

Save time with technology

The digital age and the COVID-19 pandemic have combined to spawn many new services such as telemedicine and virtual care. But which platform increases the quality of the services in your practice? To answer this, Lopez has outlined a few resources clinics can use during the check-in and exam process:

Check-in process

  • According to Lopez, resources such as SnoutID or Televet can assist practices with the collection of new customer data, consent for medical records or the payment method before the appointment.
  • Integrate electronic forms into your website through services such as Jotforms.
  • SnoutID or MyVetServices are resources with which you can offer a mobile app check-in service in your practice.


  • Lopez recommended using telemedicine platforms like Zoom for virtual visits or roadside visits.
  • Have customers complete animal visit questionnaires for drop-off visits, admission to surgery, and / or exemption from treatment prior to appointments. Resources like SnoutID use a service that allows staff to assign forms or direct customers to your clinic’s website to fill out the electronic form.
  • Provide estimates and treatments digitally using Docusign or SnoutID.

The bottom line

From effective communication techniques to examples of efficient clinic workflows to virtual platforms that streamline services for customers, Lopez has shown how this new standard of care can have a positive impact on processes, workflows, speed, convenience and safety regulations in your practice.

“Consumers see and evaluate companies very differently today than they did before COVID-19. Today it’s all about safety, speed and comfort, ”concluded Lopez.