CAPC Recommends Proactive Veterinary Client Outreach in 2021 to Adjust for Covid Scheduling Delays Last Spring – to Ensure All Pets Tested and Protected

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Delayed veterinary visits due to pandemic onset in early 2020 may cause continued lapses in pets receiving timely parasite diagnostic testing and prevention; CAPC advises veterinary clinics move up 2021 appointment reminders to ensure access to care; prevent summer 2021 backlog

By reaching out to clients to proactively schedule, we can minimize the anticipated backlog of appointments in the summer and fall. Ultimately, we want to lessen the pressure on our dedicated veterinary team while ensuring all of our patients receive timely preventive care.

The Companion Animal Parasite Council (CAPC) — the nation’s leading source on parasitic diseases that threaten the health of pets and people — recommends veterinarians and clinical teams proactively reach out to clients and move up 2021 appointment reminders to prevent lapses in critical parasite diagnostic testing and preventative dispensing.

At the onset of the pandemic, the coronavirus prompted a lull in veterinary visits in March and April 2020. For those pets whose care was delayed, veterinary appointment/software reminder systems will automatically schedule 2021 annual exams later in the year. This may create scheduling difficulties and lapses in accurate scheduling for critical parasite testing and preventative prescriptions. To avoid this situation, veterinarians should consider adjusting those patients’ reminders back to Spring of 2021 to ensure everyone has access.

“We believe that every pet needs to be tested annually and receive parasite preventives in a timely manner,” said Dr. Chris Carpenter, president and CEO of CAPC. “Our concern is that the delayed veterinary visits in 2020 may cause difficulties in pets getting access to healthcare in 2021.”

CAPC is recommending that veterinary teams proactively review their scheduling systems and move up appointments – especially for annual diagnostics and wellness checks.

“Patient’s whose care was delayed during March and April 2020 contributed to overwhelming our schedules last summer and fall,” said Dr. Rick Marrinson, a practitioner in Longwood, Florida, and CAPC board member. “To prevent both a lull in our spring 2021 schedule and an overly busy summer and fall, we are manually adjusting appointments, where applicable, back to March and April of 2021.”

CAPC’s recommendation recognizes the many challenges and protocol adjustments veterinarians across the country have had to make due to the coronavirus to continue caring for pets.

“Our team has been in survival mode since the start of the pandemic. We had to quickly develop and adapt to new curbside operation protocols while handling an unprecedented demand for services,” said Cathy Michaelson, business manager and partner at Aumsville Animal Clinic in Aumsville, Oregon, and director of operations for CAPC. “We’re now shifting gears to prepare for the annual cycle of 2021 wellness visits. By reaching out to clients to proactively schedule, we can minimize the anticipated backlog of appointments in the summer and fall. Ultimately, we want to lessen the pressure on our dedicated veterinary team while ensuring all of our patients receive timely preventive care.”

This recommendation from CAPC reflects its vital mission for nearly a decade to monitor parasitic diseases that threaten the health of pets and people. “It’s critical for all dogs and cats to be regularly protected against parasites,” said Dr. Carpenter. “Given this unprecedented time, we want to ensure there are no delays in regular testing and timely administering of broad-spectrum, year-round protection.”

ABOUT CAPC
The Companion Animal Parasite Council (http://www.capcvet.org) is an independent not-for-profit foundation comprised of parasitologists, veterinarians, medical, public health and other professionals that provides information for the optimal control of internal and external parasites that threaten the health of pets and people. Formed in 2002, CAPC works to help veterinary professionals and pet owners develop the best practices in parasite management that protect pets from parasitic infections and reduce the risk of zoonotic parasite transmission.

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Elaina Boudreau
BELA Communications
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