January 01, 2009


 Veterinary service policies, liaisons addressed

Posted Dec. 15, 2008

The Executive Board approved several recommendations relating to the provision of veterinary services.

The board approved revised Companion Animal Care Guidelines after the Council on Veterinary Service, at the board's request, reviewed this new version developed by the Committee on the Human-Animal Bond. The CoVS commended the CHAB for developing such a well-written policy and recommended a few slight changes to enhance the document's tone of guidance before the board approved them.

Three recommendations related to electronic data standards were approved.

First, the board had tasked the CoVS with advising it whether to renew the AVMA liaison contract with the Veterinary Medical Data Bases to provide liaisons to the three standards organizations—Health Level 7; Logical Observations, Identifiers, Names, and Codes; and Systematized Nomenclature of Medicine. The board approved the council's recommendation not to renew that contract. The savings was estimated at up to $20,000 per year.

The AVMA has supported development of electronic data standards for medical records and health care information since the 1980s. The CoVS sees value in the profession being involved in medical nomenclature development. That work relates more, however, to the activities of veterinary researchers than to those of private practitioners, the council found. The board, therefore, approved the council's recommendation that the AVMA reevaluate its liaison relationships with HL7, LOINC, and SNOMED to determine appropriate representation as related to the AVMA strategic goals.

The board approved a revised Policy on Ethylene Glycol to strengthen the language. The CoVS, which recommended it, believes that the warnings on bottles of ethylene glycol should be at least as obvious as current warnings for methyl alcohol are. The council also learned that bittering agents to make antifreeze less palatable are not always being added.

The board approved a revised policy on diagnostic tests and laboratories. The policy has been renamed Standardization of Diagnostic Procedures and Pathogen Identification in Animal Diseases; previously it was known as Standard Processes for the Approval of Diagnostic Tests, Test Methods, Reference Materials, Reagents, and Diagnostic Laboratories. Working with the AVMA Aquatic Veterinary Medicine Committee, the CoVS revised the policy to more clearly convey its intent.

The board approved minor revisions and updated references from the CoVS to the policy Veterinary Facility Occupational Risks for Pregnant Workers and to the Guidelines for Hazards in the Workplace.

The board approved the policy Licensure with a revised reference to the location of the AVMA Model Veterinary Practice Act. The other updated policies and guidelines can be found there as well.