As I come from a rural background and specialised primarily in cattle medicine for the first 10+ years of my life as a vet, my emphasis in veterinary medicine has always been on preventitive medicine. This emphasis pervades the Bellingen Veterinary Hospital where we encourage all of our clients to do their best to prevent illness rather than wait to treat it. A stitch in time .....
Two of the greatest challenges in preventative medicine is timely dissemination of information, and subtle but effective reminders to act.
Over the years we have used letters, phone calls, emails, postal & emails newsletters, texts, and now the the website with Blogs. We have listened intently to you our clients to guage your thoughts and responses. A recent example has been our cancellation of our email vaccination reminder service, as we found many people either did not get them, or merely lost them into the mire of emails and forgot all about vaccinating their pet.
Our new emaphasis is largely going to be focussed around this website where anyone can come for information, check out specials, subscribe to our fortnightly email newsletters, contact us, & even make appointments, etc.
We have trialled an SMS service to bring you timely health alerts, current issues, and to direct you to this website for further information. This has worked very well, with over 800 of our clients happily subscribed. If you find it a little invasive you can easily cancel - but remember one day one of these SMSs may save your pet's life.
Vaccination and other reminders are back to the old format of snail mail. Why? It seems mail is back in, especially if it isn't a bill. Letters can be stuck on the fridge as a reminder to act. And the feedback we have had indicates our clients really prefer them.
Finally, over 2013 we will be mailing out another set of reminders to make contact with clients whose pets are long overdue for vaccination. We fear these owners may have forgotten all about preventative health care for their pet as a result of a failure of our email reminders to get the message through. It is our responsibility as your vets to ensure you have the correct information on which to base your decisions regarding your pet. Ours is an advisory role, and we respect any decision you make once you know the facts.
If at any time you have some feedback for us - it really would be greatly appreciated and now you can contact us via phone (02 6655 1098), mail, email, blog, SMS, Facebook, etc.
Cheers, Mark Crane.