The American Association of Bovine Practitioners (AABP) offers its members and other beef and dairy veterinarians newly created guidelines for effective veterinarian-client-patient relationships (VCPR). The two-page guidelines, Establishing and Maintaining the Veterinarian-Client-Patient Relationship in Bovine Practice, are meant to assist veterinarians in developing more comprehensive relationships with their cattle-producing clients.
“As regulatory and consumer concerns over drug use in cattle makes the news, more direct veterinary involvement with the dairy farm, ranch or feedlot is needed,” says Keith Sterner, an Ionia, Mich., veterinarian who chaired the AABP VCPR Task Force that created the guidelines. “The AABP convened a task force to help better spell out just what constituted a VCPR. The VCPR is the very foundation on which all parties concerned can use to be assured of responsible production practices being employed on farming operations.”
The six principles underpinning the AABP VCPR guidelines:
- Maintain written agreements for working relationships.
- Have a Veterinarian of Record.
- Clarify any and all relationships with consultants and other veterinarians.
- Provide written protocols.
- Ensure written or electronic treatment records are maintained.
- Provide drugs or prescriptions for specific time frames and for specific protocols.
The VCPR is a mechanism that when in place and adhered to by all parties, assures responsible drug use and that protocols are in place and regularly reviewed on the livestock operation. “The VCPR guidelines are a measured and carefully reasoned mechanism that veterinarians can use to assure that lines of communication and records are in place between them and their clients for responsible drug use,” Sterner adds.
“At the same time, these guidelines will help to assure the public that there are excellent, responsible and documented procedures being employed on farming operations,” he says. “This will help to ensure a positive image for both the dairy and beef industries as well as the veterinary profession.”
AABP President Dan Grooms says, “A major part of AABP’s mission is to equip our members with tools that will improve the well-being of cattle. AABP is in the process of developing additional science-based cattle well-being guidelines for our members and the cattle industry as a whole. As cattle veterinarians, it is important that we develop, follow and promote guidelines that help ensure the well-being of the cattle whose health and welfare is entrusted to us.”
Read the two-page Veterinarian-Client-Patient Relationship Guidelines at http://aabp.org/resources/AABP_Guidelines/VCPRGuidelineFinal11-2013.pdf.