Member input needed on potential new member benefit: online access to current, authoritative clinical information and educational resources

  |   WSVMA News

Veterinarians in private practice generally don’t have access to large collections of journals similar to human physicians. As a result, veterinarians rely on textbooks, conferences and online discussion forums like VIN for new information. Textbooks, expert opinion and discussion forums do not always provide the highest level of evidence for clinical decision making.

The WSVMA is looking to change that by seeking access to a Washington-based service for healthcare providers. Health Evidence Resource for Washington State (HEAL-WA) is an affordable online database of current, authoritative clinical information and educational resources for eligible healthcare practitioners in Washington State. HEAL-WA is managed by the University of Washington in partnership with the Washington State Department of Health and is provided through an annual license surcharge to physicians, osteopaths, physician assistants, naturopaths, nurses, nurse practitioners, psychologists and other providers. Available resources include electronic textbooks, evidence-based and reference databases, and full text journals. The vast majority of current HEAL-WA users report that HEAL-WA contributes to higher quality of care, provides clinical value, results in better-informed clinical decisions, and provides them with new knowledge.

In order for veterinarians to have access to the service, the WSVMA would need to pass legislation in 2018 to add veterinarians to the list of healthcare providers already included in the HEAL-WA program. Passage of the bill authorizes an annual license surcharge of up to $25 for the service, although current fees for providers are set at $16 within Washington Administrative Code, a substantial discount to what it would cost to access full text journals individually.

Publications currently available through HEAL-WA include some veterinary journals. However, if veterinarians are included in the program, the number of veterinary titles is expected to expand. Here is a partial list of journals that could be added:

  • Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine
  • Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association
  • American Journal of Veterinary Research
  • Journal of the American Animal Hospital Association
  • Journal of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care
  • Veterinary and Comparative Oncology
  • Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery

To determine whether the WSVMA should seek passage of legislation adding veterinarians as a healthcare provider to HEAL-WA, it’s important we hear from you.

Click here to take a brief survey. It takes just moments to complete.

Deadline to complete the survey is July 21, 2017

Thank you for taking the time to give us feedback. Your input will help decide whether we seek this as a new member benefit.