CVS practices across the UK are supporting the Small Animal Veterinary Surveillance Network (SAVSNET) – a charity initiative that monitors health and illness in companion animals using anonymised data from veterinary practices and laboratories.

CVS practices across the UK are supporting the Small Animal Veterinary Surveillance Network. Photo credit: SAVSNET

CVS’ practice division has more than 290 sites across the UK. They will be linked up to SAVSNET – run by the British Small Animal Veterinary Association and the University of Liverpool – through their practice management systems in a rollout that will continue until the end of the year.

Through its research and analysis, SAVSNET aims to monitor disease trends over time, identify populations at risk, and monitor treatments and outcomes. It also aims to provide data and improve public awareness of small animal diseases and prevention.

One of its projects delivers near real time (within 24 hours) practice-based syndromic surveillance based on data received from participating veterinary surgeons, who, through a single mouse click, record information at the end of each consultation through their practice management system. The data is automatically sent to SAVSNET for secure storage and analysis. The whole process is designed to avoid any impact on a practice’s already busy work flow.

Alan Radford, one of SAVSNET’s principal investigators, said: “Reusing electronic health data has a massive potential to improve animal and human health. SAVSNET is one project leading the way in this research and it is great to be working with CVS, with its scale and also its focus on high quality veterinary care.

“Working together, SAVSNET and members of the CVS team can really help understand in a new way the diseases seen by the populations under our care. As a small thank you for participation, practices that take part are provided with a secure online portal where they can see free anonymised benchmarking statistics including disease data and antibacterial use. Greater knowledge will enable us to target interventions to those animals most at risk, identify risk factors for disease and focus veterinary research efforts.”

Marcus Evans, head of practice management systems at CVS, said: “We are very impressed at the projects being carried out by the SAVSNET team and are keen to support its work – particularly as our veterinary teams can do it so quickly and easily through RoboVet, our practice management system.

“As a large veterinary group, and one that is continuing to grow rapidly, our support will add significant weight to SAVSNET’s efforts and we are delighted to be contributing to such valuable research.”

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