Veterinary laboratory offers electronic service

Liz Bogut

Veterinarians from all over the world might be able to improve the quality of their care thanks to a new electronic service provided by the University.
The service is a part of the University’s Minnesota Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory and allows veterinarians to have faster and easier access to disease identification information.
After veterinarians set up individual accounts, they are able to view test results online from samples sent to University labs for diagnosis.
“This site is a breakthrough because it will enable veterinarians to log on and view laboratory results almost immediately after they have been recorded,” said James Collins, laboratory director.
Mark Hinton, community program associate for the University’s Minnesota Veterinary Diagnostic lab, said the site was developed primarily to keep up with trends moving toward increased Internet access.
“This is sort of an expectation because of speed and effectiveness,” Hinton said.
Collins said the Web site is especially useful when the laboratory is closed and test results would normally be unavailable to veterinarians.
The electronic service is available to all University lab clients across the nation and worldwide, but users must acquire a password and can only access their own lab results.
“We already have about 40 practitioners using the site,” Hinton said.
Mary Thurn, systems analyst for auxiliary services, developed the Web site for the laboratory.
Thurn said the Web site came together nicely and has not experienced many glitches in the past four months since its launch in January.
“It’s working well for the diagnostic lab. We will continually be developing the Web site and adding more features in order to accommodate our users,” Thurn said.
In addition to accessing test results from the laboratory, veterinarians can use the site to conduct research on old cases, contact the laboratory via e-mail and download submission forms before sending samples.
Although this type of electronic service is not the first of its kind at the University, it has a quality that sets it apart from others.
“The uniqueness of ours is that we are constantly re-configuring the information on the Web site,” Hinton said. “We will update it in order to effectively work with our clients.”