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These are the answers you’ve been waiting for! Pre-visit surveys from Virtual Vet Nurse.

9 min read | September 2023 | admin_vvn

Most veterinary professionals have a repertoire of routine questions they ask each client (e.g “have you noticed any changes?” “is he eating/drinking normally?”) While these questions are necessary, they are highly repetitive, and they take up a lot of appointment time.

So, here’s our question for you:

What if you already had the answers to your routine questions before you began the consult?

That’s exactly what pre-visit surveys from Virtual Vet Nurse do. You’ll have a concise written history at your fingertips.

This blog explains how our pre-visit surveys work, and the benefits our clinics are gaining.

A snapshot of how it works

This is an example from one of our New Zealand clinics, who have a Virtual Vet Nurse called Sam.

Prior to the appointment, Sam has automatically messaged the client with a survey link. The client’s answers are sent to the clinic in this simple format, ready for the veterinarian to glance through.

The client’s responses are in bold. You can see how concise and relevant the answers are (unlike verbal answers, which tend to be long-winded!)

Virtual Vet Nurse Sam has automatically gathered this information from the client, and passed it to the clinic team

The 2 types of surveys: pre-visit & pre-admission

There are broadly two types of pre-visit surveys your Virtual Vet Nurse can run.

The pre-appointment survey applies to a standard appointment, as in the snapshot example above.

The pre-admission survey covers different types of questions, and is more focused on consent to the procedure and/or hospital stay (e.g “do you have insurance” or authorizations such as “I consent to further procedures that may be required while my pet is under anesthetic”).

More quality time in the consult room (and less stress in reception)

What gains you can expect from using Virtual Vet Nurse pre-visit surveys?

One of our American clinics reports their doctors are gaining an extra 10 minutes of quality time in every consult.

As the practice owner explains, this is because clients are “consult-ready” from the moment they arrive, instead of spending the first 10 minutes filling out a form.

Clients love it, because they get the value of a full 30-minute consult. And so do the doctors, who have more time to complete their work-up (or simply to breathe!)

You could do your own calculations, based on your daily appointment numbers. What difference would that extra 10 minutes per visit make to your practice, and to your teams?

Another of our Canadian clinics is receiving around 22 pre-visit and pre-procedure surveys via their Virtual Vet Nurse each day. Here’s what they have to say:

Surgical intakes are so much faster with the help of VVN! We can have up to 12 surgery or dental drop-offs in the first half hour we’re open, and reception used to be a traffic jam of people checking in alongside clinical appointments. Now our surgery intake can be as quick as a 2-3 minute conversation. Our clients really love not having to stand around for ages answering a million questions when they’re worried about getting to work on time.

Compare the benefits

What kind of pre-visit surveys (if any) does your clinic currently use? Let’s compare the benefits of using Virtual Vet Nurse:

Does it optimise your consult time?

If you’re spending 5-10 minutes of precious consult time asking basic questions, it could be time to rethink.

Your Virtual Vet Nurse will provide all this information before the client walks through the door, so you can delve straight into the clinical work-up, and/or ask more targeted questions.

Is your front-desk team having to gather this info manually?

Your Virtual Vet Nurse will free up your front desk team, so they can focus on other tasks.

It’s a hands-free process – everything is scheduled, sent, received and updated automatically.

Are you asking every important question – every time?

For improved safety and compliance, your Virtual Vet Nurse will stay ‘on script’ every time, and never skip a question.

This is particularly important for pre-admission, ensuring ALL important questions are covered. And you will have a record of the client’s answers, in the event of a dispute.

Does it write back to your clinical records?

The survey results are automatically emailed to your clinic, and the notes can be easily copied to the patient’s clinical records. Even easier, if you’ve chosen to integrate your Virtual Vet Nurse with your PMS, these write back automatically.

Is it convenient for your clients?

Most people dislike form-filling. Especially when asked to complete it in a hurry, or while juggling a clipboard and an excitable dog in the waiting room!

With Virtual Vet Nurse, your clients can complete the survey whenever is convenient for them (anytime, anywhere).

This feedback given to one of our US clinics shows how clients appreciate it:

This was a super easy way to do Jupiter’s history instead of trying to walk around doing it in the [doctor’s] office when he’s anxious. Great tool, thank you so much!”
Rating: 5/5

Other example user cases

Another great thing about Virtual Vet Nurse surveys is their versatility. You can pick your own survey questions, based on what you want to ask your clients.

You can customize your surveys according to:

Level of detail.

You can choose a long or short-format survey, or anything in between.

For example, one of our Australian clinics has a comprehensive survey on Feline Behaviour that takes around 20 minutes to complete. Engaged cat owners are happy to provide this detailed information on their pet’s anxiety, as they’re motivated to get it solved.

In another example, one of our US clinics used their Virtual Vet Nurse to do a quick ‘curbside check-in’. They just wanted a few brief questions and instructions messaged to the client when they arrived in the carpark.

Cross-selling and education.

Your Virtual Vet Nurse can also seamlessly cross-sell additional goods or services during the conversation. They can prompt clients to purchase with questions like “do you need any flea products”, or “would you like to add a nail trim?”

They can also educate clients, where it’s helpful to elaborate on a topic. In this example from a pre-admission survey, the Virtual Vet Nurse offers pre-anesthesia tests – and can also explain why they’re important.

Your Virtual Vet Nurse can also educate clients on any related topic (e.g pre-admission procedures)

Specific visit types.

There’s also the option to tailor a pre-admission survey for specific visit types, such as dentals. Here’s an example from a clinic in the US:

You can browse the different types of pre-visit workflows on our Virtual Vet Nurse demo site. (Note, these are base scripts and would be customized for your clinic).

Want to know more?

Remember, pre-visit surveys are just one of the 9+ automated workflows (all optional) that are included within your standard Virtual Vet Nurse subscription, for a fixed monthly fee.

Here is our final question for you…

If your clinic had its own Virtual Vet Nurse to help streamline your consults and pre-admissions, what benefits would this bring?

If you’re ready to find out, please message our team to book a demo.

Photo by Matthew Henry from Burst

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