Time for a change…again
As we bask in the heat (or air conditioning) of the summer of 2014 we at the Sardis Animal Hospital are pleased to release our latest website makeover and it gives us cause to stop and reflect.
Technology and veterinary medicine are no strangers. Like many other areas of life, technology has taken over as the predominant source of excitement and frustration. We love it when in works well and is a fantastic addition to our tool box. However when it’s not working, or becomes all-consuming in time and effort, then we find ourselves longing for the days of pen, paper, and landlines.
The Sardis Animal Hospital was an early adopter of computer technology. Back in the 1980’s, long before Internet and digital imaging were common knowledge we had some level of medical record computerization. In those days computers were primarily used to ease the more mundane tasks of inventory control, invoicing and patient vaccine reminders mail outs. They still do all that, and so much more. I well remember the first dial-up modem chirping and singing as we would (at least once a day) check our account for emails. Truth be known, prior to that, I can recall having a second dedicated phone line put in at the animal hospital for this new contraption called a fax machine. The curling heat sensitive rolls of paper that faded text over time thankfully gave way to real paper and ink.
We are one with technology
Computerization and its digital influence in our hospital is now extensive and integrated into just about everything we do. We have a dozen computer workstation and paperless (is there really such a thing) patient medical records. This includes the ability to record and archive digital images of patients, their medical conditions, radiographs and reports. We have a complete in-house blood and urine analyzer linked to the ‘mother ship’ (our parent out-lab) through the internet which allows us to access a huge database of laboratory information, records and track trends in patient parameters. Digital x-ray, and more recently, a dedicated digital dental x-ray machine add to the electronic tools at our disposal. State of the art telephone system with a huge learning curve (those of you sent to messaging thanks for your patience); electronic heart, blood pressure, and anesthesia monitors; online consultants for every specialty, cell phones, tablets, cameras…. All great tools and all come at some cost to both the hospital owner and pet owner. Fortunately, the price of technology continues to drop, and the introduction of pet health care insurance makes it a little more palatable for all parties. Times they truly are ‘a changin’! All of this technology usually translates into speedier diagnostics, more accurate treatment protocols and improved means of client communication.
Tails from the Dog house
In 2003 we introduced the “Tails from the Dog house”, our quarterly newsletter designed to inform, educate and entertain. For over a decade and 40 edition published clients have been reading, enjoying and sharing the view from our side of the exam table. Archived issues is still available on this site as well but is not longer in production. We have moved our news to the much more dynamic medium of the internet. Blogs are already rapidly becoming a thing of the past but we will continue to share timely and noteworthy information as it becomes available.
The good news among all this change is that the essence of veterinary medicine remains the same. Despite the developments, advances, and progress we are still a hands-on profession. Nothing replaces a good physical exam; look, feel, and listen to the pet. Talk to the owners who are the keen observers and advocates for the pet’s health. I remember being told early in my career that veterinary medicine is as much a people profession as it is an animal profession. Without the human hands of the veterinarians and their dedicated team, and without the care, concern and observations of the owners, and without the veterinary-animal-client bond that develops, none of this would be possible.
Into the future
I hope you enjoy our updated website. It is, as always, a work in progress. We welcome any comments or advice on this any other feature you come across here, or elsewhere on the web. We are active on Facebook and Instagram as well.We like to use these platforms to have a little fun by sharing interesting cases, patients and the people that grace our lives. Less so we are on Twitter and Google plus, as time permits and as we remember to share. Social media is all pretty new to many of us, and quite frankly there are only so many hours in a day!