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How Dutch Hires Veterinarians And Ensures High Standards Of Care Through Telemedicine
Why pet owners are switching to online vet care with Dutch
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Dutch is committed to providing the highest level of care to every pet we treat. To ensure that we have consummate veterinarians who uphold our standards of care (more on that below), our recruiting, onboarding, and clinical teams carry out a detailed process of interviews and checks before any vet joins the platform while also incorporating ongoing quality assurance protocols once the vets are live and seeing clients.
Step 1: Credentials and Years of Experience
Before having an introductory call with a prospective Dutch vet, our recruiting team ensures that the vet does indeed have a Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine (DVM). This can be easily verified online through various state license lookups (example below). Once verified we will also ensure the vet has a minimum of three years of clinical experience.
Step 2: Introductory Recruiting Call
All vets interested in working with Dutch have a 30-minute introductory call with a Dutch recruiting coordinator. The goal of the call is to both educate prospective vets on how Dutch practices telemedicine while also gauging the vet’s fit with Dutch. Here are some of the discussion points we cover in each call:
- Clinical history: In addition to reviewing our vets resumes, we’ll ask about their clinical experience and specialties. Some vets may not feel as comfortable with some of the conditions we treat and so it’s important we understand what their core capabilities are.
- Familiarity with dogs and cats: Dutch treats dogs and cats only at this time and so all of our vets should have a deep understanding of and comfort with these species.
- Personal goals: Many vets have various reasons for looking into telemedicine roles. It’s important that we understand why our vets want to work with us and why they think this would fit for them. We’ve found that vets often want improved work-life balance, additional income (such as vets nearing retirement or vets on maternity leave), relief from clinical burnout, and finding purpose by making an impact in the industry through the innovations associated with telehealth.
- Fit with telemedicine: It’s critically important that vets are comfortable with the telemedicine laws in their respective state and that they feel comfortable treating pets through telemedicine.
- Platform capability: We give an end-to-end overview of how our telemedicine practice works, from scheduling initial Zoom calls to to our pharmacy fulfillment process to follow-ups. We also discuss our proprietary EMR software and how they will use that tool to gauge their comfort and fluency with software and online workflows.
- Standards of care: Dutch is committed to offering excellent customer service and a high standard of care. As part of that we expect professionalism, weekly availability to have calls, and responsiveness to care-related inquiries. It’s important that our vets are aligned with this ethos.
Step 3: Call with our Clinical Director
If our recruiting team feels the vet would benefit from speaking to our clinical director, Brian Evans, we’ll arrange a second call. This call is designed to give the vet an opportunity to get into the weeds and ask more clinical and tactical questions about the issues we treat and the way consultations work. This is a great opportunity for any vets who may be new to telemedicine to get additional details on what to expect while working on our platform.
Step 4: Contract Signing and Background Check
If the Dutch team and the vet mutually agree that Dutch is a good fit, an agreement is sent out for signature which includes compensation, terms, conditions, and other details about their independent contract.
Once signed, our veterinary operations team will request copies of the vet’s state license and DEA license. We also send a background check via Checkr. Once that clears we begin the onboarding process.
Step 5: Sign Standard of Care Statement
We send all of our vets our Standard of Care agreement to sign before joining the plattform. This ensures that our vets are committed to offering a high standard of care to the pets they see and the customers they work with. A copy of our agreement is below:
Step 6: Onboard and Train
Our onboarding process consists of a one-on-one call with our veterinary operations team followed by a review of our standard operating procedures.
Step 7: Vet Shadowing
After onboarding is complete and the vets have had some time (typically 2–3 days to a week) reviewing training materials, our vets will shadow a live call with an active vet on the platform. The purpose is to have the new vet get familiar with client interactions, the pace of the call, and the follow-up process in our proprietary medical record software where they interact with clients, take notes, and create treatment plans.
Ongoing Support and Quality Control
We make it easy for our vets to access training documents and videos, formularies and sample treatment plans, and other important information through an online platform. Having this centralized hub makes it easy for vets to log in and look up the information they need from a computer or smartphone.
Once live on the platform, Dr. Evans, our clinical director, will review consultation notes, messages, and treatment plans to ensure that vets are treating pets appropriately on the platform. He does this on a weekly basis.
Service Checks and Scorecards
Our veterinary operations team has access to veterinary performance data such as message response times, percentage of calls canceled and completed, and percentage of consultations with the necessary follow-ups. We send out weekly scorecards to each individual vet with these key metrics and also provide qualitative feedback from customers. Our goal here is to highlight what’s going well while also addressing any potential areas of improvement.
Dutch hosts a monthly Zoom session (or rounds) each month with a visiting veterinary specialist who is an expert on a particular topic. We have had specialists come and talk about behavior and dermatology for example, and those vets in attendance can get continuing education (CE) for their participation. Holding monthly rounds is a great way to ensure our vets are staying up to date with the latest pet health trends while also providing them a forum to connect with each other and the rest of the team.
We’re constantly evolving our processes to ensure that we hire top quality vets and provide them with the tools and support they need to deliver the best care, quickly and affordably online. Our vets are committed to doing what’s best for every pet — even if that means referring a pet parent to an in-person vet.