The veterinary industry experienced a lot of upheavals and rapid progress in 2020. The industry is still coming to terms with the new regulations and increased demand. More than ever, veterinary practices face new challenges and long-term effects on their operations. These changes have forced the industry to prepare for the future quickly, often using unprecedented measures to keep up with the level of patients (and owners) expected. Moreover, you must keep an eye on current trends and advancements to handle these situations correctly to avoid backlash.
Throughout time, efforts have been made to return the world to its normal state. Nevertheless, many of the protocols, processes, and systems initiated during the pandemic will continue to be useful.
Six Trends Affecting the Veterinary Industry
While these changes significantly disrupt a typical veterinary practice, they are deemed necessary to thrive in this space. To succeed as a veterinarian, you need to implement these changes into your practice and prepare for coming changes. So, here are the trends affecting the future success of the veterinary industry.
A rise in demand for veterinarians prompted calls for greater flexibility, accessibility, and seamless on-call treatment. Veterinarians that could quickly adapt while keeping in sync with their client’s expectations, and pivot to new ways of working and giving care thrived in the industry’s changing landscape. Their ability to adapt to evolving circumstances made them more prepared for future problems.
As the pandemic continues, this adaptive approach to practice administration and treatment will undoubtedly be one of the most important veterinary developments. Not to mention, every other innovation is made possible by adaptability, whether it is evolving your practice alongside new safety measures, doing remote consultations, or installing new clinic designs to fit new ways of working.
2. Technological Advancements
The use of technology, tools, and telemedicine applications aided veterinary practices during the pandemic. When practices were inundated with new and existing clients, using practice applications, virtual appointments, curb side check-in, and pickup notifications helped enhance efficiency.
Technology will continue to be a major force that propels development in the veterinary business; however, there will be a shift in the rate at which you can adopt new technologies and the rate at which practices can innovate to deliver essential treatment during times of need.
For one thing, telemedicine has evolved as an efficient and convenient method of providing care where it is effective and safe. Over the next few years, this technology will play a larger part in modern veterinary practice, simplifying both remote and triage to in-person consultations. Virtual visits are projected to become more integrated into many necessary routine care and follow-up areas, and more widely available and publicized where appropriate.
While this may cause a considerable fuss about replacing manual labour, this should get seen as something more complementary to the workforce than a replacement.
3. Rise of Large Veterinary Corporations
Even though the veterinary care market is highly fragmented, with various owners and business models, it is anticipated that corporate-owned practices will represent an increasing share of the industry’s revenue and visits.
Due to their size and resources, veterinary practice corporations substantially impact industry standards, including price, competition, compensation and benefits, customer relations, and patient care quality. As corporate practices grow more prevalent, the whole veterinary profession will look to them to shape the future of veterinary medicine.
4. Drive Toward Sustainability
In recent years, veterinarians are placing a larger emphasis on environmental sustainability. As part of their efforts to improve the long-term viability of their practices, veterinarians have taken the lead in promoting environmental initiatives. Consequently, the world should expect an increase in the number of techniques that either begin to take sustainability actions or increase their efforts to lessen their environmental impact.
The sustainability shift will most likely result from veterinary teams asking their employers to make strides in areas such as:
- Supplier Impact
- Waste Disposal and Management
- Energy Conservation
- Consumption of Resources
5. Digital Customer Experience
Even though online reviews boost word-of-mouth, it only takes a few dissatisfied customers to impact your business. As a direct consequence of this, the level of care and service provided has improved.
It has long been the goal of veterinary experts to provide their patients with the finest possible service during their visits to the clinic. Although nothing can arguably surpass the benefits of having face-to-face interactions, the focus will shift to enhancing the digital customer experience as more and more consumer experience shifts to virtual environments.
The next generation of pet owners wants veterinarian treatment and advice delivered online, easily, and wherever they happen to be. Veterinarian clinics may thrive in the digital era by optimizing their websites for mobile audiences and encouraging customers to provide good online reviews.
6. Employee Wellness
It is not a secret that the veterinary profession suffers from poor mental health and overall well-being, which often leads to devastating repercussions.
Establishing a good work-life balance, a positive workplace culture, and mental health well-being among the veterinary practice staff can entice talented veterinarians to join your practice. Ensure that you have a good team to handle the workload, and step in if any of your clients try to criticize your employees. Pay your employees a living income and provide them with health insurance, pension plans, scrub allowances, and payments for their continued education.
Many veterinary leaders have recognized the necessity of prioritizing employee well-being in the face of unprecedented rates of change and rising demand. Thus, leaders are likely to devote more attention to employee well-being, including mental health first aid training, to foster a happier and more productive workforce.
Veterinary practices cannot just go back to their old ways of doing things as the world begins to recover from the pandemic and life returns to some semblance of normality. Instead, they need to consider which changes will add long-term value to the practice and implement them.
You can keep your practice at the forefront of the veterinary industry by adjusting to current trends in the most suitable way for your company. Find out how Veterinary IT Services can help.