The Power of Protocols
In any busy and complex environment, protocols streamline and improve care and processes. Protocols also allow shelters to practice evidence-based medicine based on current standards of care.
In a 2015 survey of 60 ASV members, 90% agreed that protocols offer more consistent medical care, 75% agreed that they save time, and 62% agreed that they improve quality of care. The main barrier to creating and updating protocols was lack of time. Of the respondents, 81% said they do or would use existing protocols from other shelters as a starting point.
Medical Protocols from the Toronto Humane Society
The THS veterinary team has developed a large number of medical protocols that it shares, upon request, with veterinarians and veterinary students (only) who are involved in animal sheltering. Contact us to request the Dropbox link.
Existing protocols and material for protocol development
These are our top resources for protocol development and protocols:
The Checklist Manifesto
Human surgeon and medical philosopher elegantly explains in his books, The Checklist Manifesto, Better, and Complications, why protocols and checklists are essential for modern medical (and, by extension, veterinary) practice and how they empower us to practice better medicine and minimize medical errors. Start with The Checklist Manifesto.