Penn Vet Launches Telehealth Service

This new service offers real-time, virtual visits for large animal referring veterinarians and animal owners.
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Dr. Cristobal Navas de Solis New Bolton Center

Through a suite of teleconferencing software, veterinary specialists like Penn Vet New Bolton Center's Dr. Cristobal Navas de Solis can provide real-time support, evaluation and guidance to on-site veterinarians and clients.

In an effort to provide the highest level of veterinary care amid the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Veterinary Medicine (Penn Vet) at New Bolton Center today announced the launch of a new, innovative telehealth service for large animals.

The service offers both teleconsultations, allowing on-site veterinarians in the field to collaborate with New Bolton Center specialists to address patient needs, as well as telemedicine appointments, enabling New Bolton Center Field Service veterinarians to conduct ‘virtual visits’ with patients while following best practices of social distancing.

“The COVID-19 environment has challenged us to rethink how we can continue to deliver an exceptional level of care to our clients and our community,” said Dr. Barbara Dallap Schaer, Hospital Director for Penn Vet’s New Bolton Center. “While we continue to provide vital, in-person care for emergency and urgent cases at New Bolton Center’s hospital, our telehealth capabilities will bridge any physical disconnect felt during this time to offer care to those who need it most. We want to be there for people.”

By relying on a suite of teleconferencing software, mobile cameras, and rapid file exchange systems, New Bolton Center’s veterinary specialists can provide real-time support, evaluation, and guidance to on-site veterinarians. The on-site veterinarians can then use the information to diagnose and treat their patients in-person.

New Bolton Center’s telehealth experts are also available to help on-site veterinarians integrate telemedicine tools into their own practices, enabling them to provide care to their own patients without the need for physical, in-person contact.

For large animal owners, New Bolton Center’s Field Service veterinarians will implement the same clinical skills utilized in person to conduct an examination through the teleconferencing platform.

“Our new telehealth service not only has risen to meet the challenge of providing life-saving veterinary care safely during the COVID-19 pandemic, but it has opened up endless opportunities for the future,” added Dr. Cristobal Navas de Solis, assistant professor of cardiology/ultrasound and internal medicine at New Bolton Center.

“These tools offer tremendous implications for collaborating with other veterinarians, and even delivering care to remote or underserved locations, in ways that we have never been able to before,” added Navas de Solis.

New Bolton Center is currently offering teleconsultations with on-site, referring veterinarians at no cost. For more information about New Bolton Center’s telehealth services or to make an appointment, visit www.vet.upenn.edu/newbolton-telehealth.

New Bolton Center’s hospital remains open for any veterinary emergency and medically necessary cases. If you are experiencing a veterinary emergency, call 610-444-5800.

About Penn Vet

Ranked among the top ten veterinary schools worldwide, the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Veterinary Medicine (Penn Vet) is a global leader in veterinary education, research, and clinical care. Founded in 1884, Penn Vet is the first veterinary school developed in association with a medical school. The school is a proud member of the One Health initiative, linking human, animal, and environmental health.

Penn Vet serves a diverse population of animals at its two campuses, which include extensive diagnostic and research laboratories. Ryan Hospital in Philadelphia provides care for dogs, cats, and other domestic/companion animals, handling nearly 35,000 patient visits a year. New Bolton Center, Penn Vet’s large-animal hospital on nearly 700 acres in rural Kennett Square, PA, cares for horses and livestock/farm animals. The hospital handles nearly 5,500 patient visits a year, while the Field Service treats more than 38,000 patients at local farms. Playing an important role in the development of novel approaches to food animal production, New Bolton Center’s campus includes a swine center, working dairy, and poultry unit that conduct valuable research for the agriculture industry. For more information, visit www.vet.upenn.edu.

Editor's note: For more on telemedicine, listen to EquiManagement's Daily Vet Life podcast, where the entire week's podcasts of March 30-April 3 are devoted to telemedicine topics. Daily Vet Life podcasts are 5 minutes or less each day, five days a week.

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