Researchers have completed a 4-week pilot project designed to determine the feasibility of leveraging companion animal and equine health data from primary-care veterinary clinics in New Zealand.
A prototype surveillance system, similar to that used by VetCompass, was installed in two veterinary clinics. Animal demographics and standardised code fields, describing the reasons for presentation and diagnoses, were automatically extracted from the practices’ clinical record systems. Overall, the most common reasons for presentation were vaccinations and gastrointestinal problems. High rates of record coding were observed at both practices.
This study provided proof-of-concept as to the feasibility of establishing a VetCompass-like system for collecting veterinary clinical data on small animals and equines in New Zealand. Ease of system use, seamless integration into routine workflow and information feedback loops contributed to the study’s success. A strategy is now being developed that will see the system rolled-out nationally.
Further details can be found in this open access paper:
Muellner, P., Muellner, U., Gates, M.C., Pearce, T., Ahlstrom, C., O'Neill, D., Brodbelt, D. and Cave, N.J. 2016 Evidence in practice - a pilot study leveraging companion animal and equine health data from primary care veterinary clinics in New Zealand. Frontiers in Veterinary Science, 3.