What does a Veterinary-Client-Patient-Relationship mean for your operation?What does a Veterinary-Client-Patient-Relationship mean for your operation?
Although many states are looking at this as an option, none of the top 10 pig producing states allow telemedicine as an option to establish a VCPR.
August 15, 2023
By Seth Melson, DVM, Swine Vet Center
As news of Iowa's VCPR changes have come into action, many producers have been left wondering what that means for their operations. What constitutes a VCPR in my state? Why do I need one? How do I know if my VCPR is valid? Can I use telemedicine for this purpose? These are all questions we have heard in the last year.
A VCPR stand for Veterinarian-Client-Patient-Relationship and is specific from state to state. To find specific state requirements, contact your veterinarian or state board of veterinary medicine.
Generally, states require that all the following requirements are met:
The veterinarian has assumed responsibility for making clinical judgments regarding the health of the patient, and the client has agreed to follow the veterinarians' instructions.
The veterinarian has sufficient knowledge of the patient to initiate a preliminary diagnosis of the patient’s medical condition.
This means the veterinarian is personally acquainted with the keeping and care of the patient by timely visits by the veterinarian to the operation where the patient is managed.
"Timely visit" is defined state to state, the top four pig producing states are listed:
Iowa: 12 months
Minnesota: 12 months
North Carolina: No defined time
Illinois: No defined time
The veterinarian is readily available for follow-up evaluation or has arranged for the following:
Veterinary emergency coverage
The veterinarian provides oversight of treatment, compliance and outcome.
Patient records are maintained
VCPRs are required by the State Veterinary Practice Act to diagnose, treat and prescribe/dispense medication. This includes dispensing prescription and veterinary feed directive antibiotics. With the latest changes by the FDA, previously available over the counter antibiotics now require a prescription. This means that having a valid VCPR is even more important to establish appropriate care.
With recent pushes for technology advancement on farm, telemedicine as an option has been proposed by many producers. So, can you use telemedicine to establish a VCPR? Although many states are looking at this as an option, none of the top 10 pig producing states allow telemedicine as an option to establish a VCPR. The future of telemedicine looks bright and hopefully in the future this can become a valid option for VCPRs.
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