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Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Your pet’s health is very important to us: Appointment reminder cards

Last month I received a cute postcard from our dog's veterinarian. It has a photo of a beagle puppy lying down, underneath a golden kitten, and they're looking at each other, nose to nose. Under the title, Keep your Companion Healthy, are four bullet points:

Bring them in for regular exams;
Keep their vaccinations current;
Ensure a proper diet and exercise;
Give them lots of love.

On the other side of the postcard is the vet's address and phone number, and a list of the five vaccinations that Jackson should get, with the date that each is due. The message at the bottom says: "Your pet's health is very important to us. Please call for an appointment."

Do you routinely get a friendly reminder like this from your doctor of the need to schedule an appointment? I don't. The vet's electronic medical record system must have generated the postcard, for there is no handwriting on it. The only manual step was to put the postage stamp on it.

To our friends who are doctors in medical practices: We can send a man to the moon, and we can replace hearts and lungs and livers. In addition to those heroic acts, as patients, we'd really appreciate getting a simple reminder card if we forget to schedule an appointment for our well-loved human pet.

Read another story of how our dog's electronic medical record is better than mine.

Our vet’s office: Highland Animal Hospital in Needham, Massachusetts.

Advice to those who are picking a doctor: Choose one who uses an electronic medical record system.

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