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Raising the bar: Establishing standards of care (Part 1) (Proceedings)
Recognize the opportunities for raising the standard of medical care, improving patient quality of life, and enhancing the family-pet. Relationship
Irving Townsend - - "We who choose to surround ourselves with lives even more temporary than our own live within a fragile circle, easily and often breached. Yet, we still would live no other way."
Recent studies consistently report that 75 - 80% of pet owners think of their pets as children
Where dogs stand in the household:
• Member of the family - - 76%
• Dog is one of most important things in life - - 67%
• Dog is better companion than other family members - - 53%
• Health of dog equal to own - - 49%
• Dog's death equal to that of friend or relative - - 60%
Raising the bar
Recognize the opportunities for raising the standard of medical care, improving patient quality of life, and enhancing the family-pet relationship
Get over complacency (78% of vets)
Avoid sticking our collective heads in the sand:
• "My clients do as I tell them..."
• "Not in my clinic..."
• "There is no compliance problem in veterinary medicine..."
• "It's not my problem..."
• "Pet care is all up to the client..."
Help "parcel" client education to prevent information overload
• Stop overestimating client concerns about money
• Veterinarians and practice teams have much more influence than they think
• Shrink the "recommendation gap" by training the entire team always to make the recommendations that reflect the best healthcare options for every single patient
Better medicine IS better business
• Realize that better patient care is important
• Care enough to do something about it
• Advocate on behalf of a being who cannot advocate for itself - - for what it "needs and deserves"
Ask the following questions:
• What is our standard of care?
• How do we define our standard of care?
• What sources do we use to define/determine our standard of care?
Tools for Raising the Bar
1. Accreditation by the American Animal Hospital Association www.aahanet.org
Accreditation standards make a GREAT place to start in formally adopting standards of care
2. AAHA and other guidelines
- Don't reinvent the wheel
- Look to the experts and use their knowledge to your advantage
- Most guidelines are "open access" documents for the profession's consumption and use
- AAHA Senior Care Guidelines for Dogs and Cats (2005)
- AAHA Dental Care Guidelines for Dogs and Cats (2005)
- AAFP Feline Vaccine Advisory Panel Report (2006)
- AAHA Canine Vaccine Guidelines, Revised (2006)
- AAHA/AAFP Pain Management Guidelines for Dogs and Cats (2007)
- AAFP Senior Care Guidelines (cats) (revised 2008/published 2009)
- AAFP/AAHA Feline Life Stage Guidelines (2010)
3. Veterinary Anesthesia and Analgesia Support Group (www.vasg.org)
"Practical Information for the Compassionate Practitioner"
4. Veterinary Information Network (VIN) (www.vin.com)
- Interactive message boards
- Searchable library & database
- Continuing education
- Conference procedings
- Interns & residents
- Recent graduates
- Veterinary students (free membership)
c) Veterinary Support Personnel Network (VSPN)
- Veterinary technicians and assistants
- Office managers
- Other support staff
- Membership to VSPN is free
- Interactive message boards
- Continuing education
- VSPN Notebook - - handbook of practical and useful information
5. International Veterinary Academy of Pain Management (IVAPM)
- Christine Longaker - -"Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional."
- Two or more members in a practice, receive "hospital discount"
- Communication via list-serve with posted questions/comments; discussions about medications, case management, new technology, etc
- IVAPM website provides information for both veterinary professionals and pet owners
- Members can access a library of previous discussions conducted on the list-serve
- Cutting-edge pain management information
- Deeply discounted subscription to "Veterinary Anaesthesia and Analgesia" (official journal) - - Very practical journal
- Access to pain experts from around the globe and from every discipline
- Can post questions to the list and most members open to messages "off list"
- Certification available for veterinarians, veterinary technicians - - "Certified Veterinary Pain Practitioner" (CVPP)
- Certification available for physical therapists and physical therapist assistants with certification in canine rehabilitation - - "Certified Animal Pain Practitioner" (CAPP)
Decide what is important:
• What are the core values of the practice?
• What are the core team values?
• What mutual values are shared by the team?
• Values create culture as they are always on display
Decide where the practice is going
Decide what the practice stands for
• Any vision is intangible and must be translated into an emotional message...
• Inspire your people to be believers!
If you don't know where you're going, you'll probably end up somewhere else...