TECHNOLOGY AT WORK
It’s everywhere, and it’s changing the way I work (to some extent)! Being a vet (and I have no doubt this applies to many other professions) is both an art and a science. We rely on what we can experience with our senses, the history and clinical examination and sometimes on further investigations- blood tests and diagnostic imaging. We also rely on gut feeling, especially as our experience grows and we get to remember previous experiences with the same breed (signalment) or similar situations.
A few weeks ago at work we installed a webcam. This lets us remotely see and listen to patients, and has already saved me a few extra trips to the clinic after hours. Sometimes I take my critically ill hospital patients home with me, or make one or more trips to the clinic during the night to check on them. That was one of the few disadvantages (for me) of moving the vet from home to the current location. The camera has now given me another option.
Another example of how technology has changed how I practice is the ability to send and receive pictures and even videos electronically. It can never completely replace hands on examination, but is the next best thing and can sometimes save a trip or allow a diagnosis to be made remotely, and I have used photos or videos several times to issue or update a transport certificate, to give advice on whether an appointment is necessary and even to make diagnoses on skin conditions or lumps. I can only imagine that in remote communities it must be a fairly useful benefit for doctors and nurses, and would allow these isolated clinics to have access to specialists. Certainly for us it makes referral and bouncing ideas off other vets easier. I’m hoping that as was the case with digital cameras, digital x ray systems which are currently very expensive will reduce in price with time. I can’t justify the expense of upgrading at present based on the number of x rays I take.
Our clinical records are now stored “in the cloud” which means we can access them from anywhere, except of course when the internet is unavailable, which does happen occasionally and leaves everyone very frustrated. Of course as someone has wisely pointed out there is no such thing as the cloud, it’s just someone else’s computer, so we do need robust back up in place. My gut feeling is that as a society our data is possibly less secure now than it ever has been, computers are very good at deleting vast quantities of information at the touch of a button, or sometimes for no apparent reason. Also as formats upgrade, sometimes old formats become unreadable. At least with paper records they can be retrieved without high tech equipment, or even power and internet.
Cell phones have made us more contactable, great for emergencies although not so good for quality of life! The peninsula still remains challenging for cell reception, and I have a second cell phone for areas where I don’t get reception on my usual phone, or I may even leave a temporary message with a landline number if I’m going out of range of any cell network. I have a signal booster at home which means I can keep my home number separate for personal calls, and my work cell phone for after hours emergencies. Of course it’s not good to do too much work at home, and it is important to make time for family and friends and down time as well. For this reason we’ve added the ability for clients to book appointments and request repeat prescriptions on line from our website, in order not to have to use the emergency number to do this.
We feature all sorts of amazing animals, but can rats really be trained to detect landmines and tuberculosis?
We've created an online portal to book appointments and order repeat prescriptions or pet food and other animal health products. You can also view invoices and statements as well as update your and your animal's details.
Now you can like us on facebook to receive regular updates (including the monthly news article) and interact with us online
We've recently put shingle down in the parking area and made it drive through so please park inside and tell us what you think!
We have moved to 3328 Christchurch-Akaroa Rd near the Birdlings Flat turnoff, watch out for our big sign, you can't miss it. We have a much bigger range of foods and animal health products, including the Eukanuba Premium Performance for working dogs at great prices. Our cattery is also open and looking great.
We have an inhouse blood analyzer at the clinic, so we can run many tests while you wait. This allows us to offer pre-anaesthetic testing as well as health screening for older animals, and provide an emergency service afterhours and weekends when the Christchurch laboratory is closed. We can also determine mineral levels in down cows. We also now have a portable ultrasound scanner, good news for pregnancy testing.
We once again have the cheap mismating injection available for bitches. This has been off the market for a few years now, but Paul has been able to have some compounded. We have some ideas to help you save on animal health expenses- ask us about the bulk deals for Eukanuba dog food, and get to feed a premium, performance enhancing brand. Also the RFID electronic ear tags are now compulsory for cattle and deer. Ask us about ordering NAIT tags for your stock, or about the new tagging requirements. There is a lot more flexibility in what visible tags are acceptable- they don't all have to be yellow! We are able to procure eartags at below recommended retail prices.
We also have a large range of Acana/Orijen and Hills Science Diet in stock. Paul can deliver to Akaroa on Mondays and Thursdays and to Diamond Harbour on Tuesdays.
Animal health information - Archives
Please contact us if you’d like copies of any of these. Many are now available to view as posts on Paul's Linkedin page. Also let us know if you’d like to see any other topics featured here.
Animal welfare, Accidental poisonings, Arthritis, Allergies, Above & beyond, After Hours, Akaroa or bust
Becoming a vet, Birthing & midwifery, Be wormwise this Autumn
Dental care, Desexing, Dogs, sheep measles & farm etiquette
External parasites, Euthanasia, EID's, Equine deworming recommendations & autumn animal health advice
First aid in animals. FIV and Feline Leukaemia, Five Freedoms
Happy to be stuck with you, Human-animal bond, Heat Stroke
Internal parasites, Is it too late to spey or neuter my pet? Internet & Google- the good the bad and the ugly, It shouldn't happen to a vet
Mafikeng rhino, Memories of Mafikeng, Mr Talkative, Microchipping
Nutrition, Nutrition in pet rabbits, New Year Animal Health Checklist
Obesity in pets, Onwards & upwards
Poisons in the pantry, primary health care, Plant poisonings, Pigs rule, Pig's Ear, Pathology & blood testing
Rabbit calicivirus, Ramped up rhino, Resistance-squandering a miracle, Road block
Tapeworm, TB in NZ, The nasties, The big move, The Challenge of Diamond Harbour, The thief, The Driving Lesson, Technology at work
Urinary problems in cats
Vets’ cars, vaccination principles- ruminants, Vaccination of dogs & cats, Vet lifestyler
War wounds, Why vaccinate?, World veterinary year, World vaccination guidelines, Wild & stray cats