As we navigate the short and long-term impacts of COVID-19, we realize that some of our clients may choose or be forced to remain home for extended periods of time. Therefore we want you to be aware of the virtual care options that we have here at Charleston Harbor Veterinarians so that you can be sure to maintain the health of your pets regardless!
What is Virtual Care?
Simply put, it is any number of tools and processes in place to help receive medical advice, recommendations and care for your pet while not physically present with a veterinarian or veterinary professional.
What options for Virtual Care does CHV offer?
- Teletriage is the safe, appropriate, and timely assessment and management (immediate referral to a veterinarian or not) of animal patients via electronic consultation with their owners (or another responsible party). In assessing patient condition electronically, we determine the urgency and the need for immediate referral to a veterinarian, based on the report of history and clinical signs. Often this is completed by phone or text and is sometimes supplemented by photos or videos. A diagnosis is not rendered. The essence of teletriage is to make good and safe decisions regarding a patient’s condition (referral to a veterinarian or not), under times of uncertainty and urgency.
- Telemedicine involves the use of a tool to exchange medical information electronically from one site to another to improve a patient’s clinical health status. Examples include using Facetime, Skype or a custom app to communicate with a client and visually observe the patient which can include sickness, wellness advice or post operative rechecks. Telemedicine may only be conducted within an existing Veterinarian-Client-Patient-Relationship. In other words, the patient must already have been seen by a doctor at CHV. The one exception is that advice may be given in an emergency care situation until a patient can be seen by or transported to a veterinarian.
- E-prescribing, or electronic prescribing, is the digital based electronic generation, transmission, and filling of a medical prescription, taking the place of paper and faxed prescriptions. For these requests CHV offers our own online pharmacy that includes free shipping of the prescribed medicines or diet to your home. E-prescribing also requires a Veterinarian-Client-Patient-Relationship which in some cases may be established during a virtual care session.
How do I begin a virtual care session and what are the costs?
A virtual care session begins simply with a call or text to our clinic phone number, 843-410-8290. We will determine if a virtual care session is appropriate and receive your approval to begin. We can often immediately begin a teletriage session during the original phone call or text, providing the appropriate recommendation for next steps. The cost for a teletriage session is $10 during normal business hours and $25 when the office is closed.
If a telemedicine session is needed and desired, we may be able to transition the call or text immediately to a video telemedicine consult. Otherwise, we will assist you in scheduling a time for this or you may leave a message to request a time. The cost for a telemedicine session is $55 for up to 30 minutes and $1 per minute thereafter.
E-prescribing can be initiated 24/7 by visiting our online pharmacy. Once there you can shop for products and your requests will automatically be sent to our doctor for approval. The online pharmacy offers free shipping and all products are fully backed by CHV and the manufacturer just as they would be if you bought them in the clinic. During a telemedicine session, the doctor may also prescribe medication for you directly from our online pharmacy and send the recommendation directly to you to complete the sale online. There are no incremental costs associated with using our online pharmacy beyond the cost of the product.