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Voice of Users

Veterinary Medical Records System

Customer : Sugimoto Veterinary Clinic

Tough and disinfectable, the CF-H1 plays a big part in veterinary care, even in cowsheds!
On-site entry of electronic veterinary records improves efficiency by automatically generating itemized bills.*

Located in Nishikan-ku, Niigata – a land of paddy fields and rich rice harvests – Sugimoto Veterinary Clinic is responsible for caring for the health of local livestock, especially cattle. While providing care, to check the records of each animal, Dr. Sugimoto takes the robust TOUGHBOOK CF-H1 right into the cowsheds. And as soon as the treatment is done, itemized information can also be entered on site. Administrative work has been greatly reduced by this streamlining.

* Itemized bills recording all charges are required when claiming expenses for veterinary treatment.

Veterinary visits centering on care for cattle have won the trust and confidence of local livestock farmers

Dr. Keisuke Sugimoto, Veterinary Surgeon

Dr. Keisuke Sugimoto, Veterinary Surgeon
“Now that I’ve started using the CF-H1, I can use the veterinary record data to do things like issue treatment slips according to treatment category. I can do all the data entry on site, even for itemized billing.”

Sugimoto Veterinary Clinic is about an hour by car from the center of Niigata City. On the edge of the city, it is located in the spreading rural scenery of Nishikan-ku.

It was here that, in 2005, after qualifying as a vet and gaining extensive practical experience, Dr. Sugimoto Keisuke opened Sugimoto Veterinary Clinic, a practice specializing in the care of large animals, especially cattle. In 2010 the base of operations was transferred to his newly built residence. From here, he provides veterinary services to local cattle breeders.

“If I receive an emergency call, I immediately get out and on my way. In particular, cows tend to calve during the night. I am always prepared, 24 hours a day.” (Dr. Sugimoto)

In a practice that includes 25 cattle breeders, everyday, Dr. Sugimoto meets the challenge of managing the health and reproduction of 700 head of cattle. His skill and energy have won the trust and confidence of the local cattle breeders.

With its fanless design, the CF-H1 can be used even in the dusty confines of a cowshed

In a cowshed, where the air is filled with detritus from the hay, using the CF-H1 to enter data in electronic veterinary records.

In a cowshed, where the air is filled with detritus from the hay, using the CF-H1 to enter data in electronic veterinary records.

Dr. Sugimoto has long been actively applying IT to his veterinary practice. He developed his own electronic veterinary records system using Microsoft Access, a database management program. Always seeking a system that is easier to use, and having to respond to procedural and other changes, he has repeatedly upgraded and revised his set up.

He ran his previous electronic veterinary records system on a standard laptop computer made by another company but, in a number of ways, it did not meet his needs.

“Detritus from the hay fills the air in cowsheds, and there is also a high risk of contamination with blood and urine or manure. It’s a challenging environment. That’s why I used to leave my so-called mobile computer in the car and use it there. I wouldn’t to use it near the cows. And the batteries only lasted for about an hour. It was far from practical to use it when I was out all day making calls.” (Dr. Sugimoto)

In the end, he had to fill in records on site by hand and then enter the data when he returned to the clinic. The same job had to be done twice.

“Sometimes I couldn’t find the time to enter the data on the same day as the treatment was given, and the data entry chores built up. Itemized bills also have to be submitted on a monthly basis. Often enough, I would find myself working overnight to get the billing done in time.” (Dr. Sugimoto)

“Then I found out about the CF-H1. When I checked out the specs on the website, I thought, ‘This is great!’ For a start, it can take rough handling and, because it’s fanless, it doesn’t suck in dust. I reckoned it was just the thing for the kind of harsh environment you find in cowsheds. After careful consideration, I decided to go with the CF-H1.” (Dr. Sugimoto)

All the data entry for treatment slips and itemized billing is done just by filling out the electronic veterinary records: different types of forms are generated automatically and printed wirelessly

Electronic veterinary records displayed on the CF-H1.

Electronic veterinary records displayed on the CF-H1. Even without using a keyboard, you can smoothly enter all the information using the touch screen. It gets a high score for usability.

After treating the cows, using a portable printer, I can make hard copies of the necessary forms and hand them over to the farmer.

After treating the cows, using a portable printer, you can make hard copies of the necessary forms and hand them over to the farmer. Because it has Bluetooth®, there’s no need for cables.

Dr. Sugimoto started using the CF-H1 in November 2009, just at the same time that the livestock co-op changed its billing procedures. Now they wanted forms to be issued for each consultation, and for the farmer to receive slips for each kind of treatment given. Rather than having to fill in these forms by hand, he made the system work for him by accessing the data in the electronic veterinary records and printing out the treatment slips.

For any visit, the first thing is to check, using the CF-H1, the history of the cows being treated. At this point, fingerprint authentication proves its worth.

“I’m very security conscious because, for farmers, electronic veterinary records are both business assets and confidential personal information. With fingerprint verification built into the CF-H1, I can rest assured that I’m the only person who can log in. To make verification easy, however awkward my posture, I have registered the fingerprints of all my fingers.” (Dr. Sugimoto)

Each animal is assigned a ten-digit ID number and besides recording items such as date of birth, dates of insemination, and number of births, data is entered for treatment and reproductive history. Diagnosis and treatment is carried out in the cowshed while referring to onscreen information.

After the consultation, the electronic veterinary record is updated with the specific treatments provided and the amount and mode of administration of any drugs is entered. Data entry can be carried out while waiting for an intravenous drip to finish or while reporting to the farmer in the farm office. All the data-entry procedures can be concluded with very little extra time onsite.

Fitted with a strap, the CF-H1 can be securely held in one hand. This makes it easy to show the screen to the farmer, which helps to clearly communicate information when explaining a cow’s condition and proposed treatment.

On the spot, data input into the records can be accessed to generate treatment slips, and after making hard copies on a portable printer, the official paperwork can be handed over to the farmer. Cables are not required: printing can be conveniently carried out wirelessly using Bluetooth®.

Enough battery life for a full day's work. Smooth data entry via touch screen

Even if the casing gets soiled with dust or blood, a wipe with alcohol restores hygiene.

Even if the casing gets soiled with dust or blood, a wipe with alcohol restores hygiene.

Back in the clinic, the CF-H1 is placed in a cradle and used as a desktop computer

Back in the clinic, the CF-H1 is placed in a cradle and used as a desktop computer.

Besides the convenience of finishing the data entry on site, the same data can be accessed to create itemized bills. This means that the need for administrative work after returning to the clinic has almost disappeared. Just about all that remains to be done is to back up the data and print out the itemized bills.

One thing has brought particular relief: “I no longer have to stay up all night to get my itemized billing done.”
We asked Dr. Sugimoto more about how it feels to use the CF-H1:
“I don’t need to use a keyboard. Data entry proceeds smoothly using the touch screen. From time to time, I’ve had the chance to check out other brands of tablet computer. Using a stylus and handwritten character recognition system, I was frustrated by poor recognition of my writing. This made me appreciate how naturally, without disturbing my train of thought, I can input data using the CF-H1.” (Dr. Sugimoto)

Another well-appreciated advantage of the CF-H1 is the ability to use alcohol to disinfect the outer surfaces, thus ensuring hygiene and preventing the spread of diseases.

“I would be a poor vet if I became a vector and spread disease around the many farms I visit. Without fail, the first thing I do on my way out of a farm is disinfect my boots and other equipment. I am very particular about hygiene. It’s the same with the CF-H1, I always make sure it stays sterile by wiping it with alcohol-moistened cotton.” (Dr. Sugimoto)

Dr. Sugimoto was also pleased not to have to worry about the battery life of the CF-H1:
“In continuous use it will keep running for four hours, six if you darken the screen. At the end of the day, the way I work, the battery level is only down by about 20%.”

The variety of built-in features reduces the chore of inputting and helps prevent medical accidents

Besides Bluetooth®, the CF-H1 also comes with camera, barcode reader, RF-ID, wireless WAN, and various other functions (some may be optional extras) built in. Using these, it is possible to efficiently input and store, and to wirelessly receive and transmit, different kinds of data.

“If I can get medical equipment capable of wireless connection, it would reduce the need for input. Data entry would become both easier and more accurate. Systems using RF-ID and barcodes to enable verification of cows and the drugs being used are also starting to be put into use. The wave of IT that has been propelling progress in the medical world is also bringing benefits to veterinary practice.” (Dr. Sugimoto)

Dr. Sugimoto has shown how the CF-H1 can be used in veterinary practice. This practical know-how may also be employed in community medicine systems that involve house calls or medical visits. Whether healthcare is given to persons or animals, the CF-H1 is an indispensable tool for reducing the risk of error and improving efficiency. It has a promising future as a device that can help to streamline healthcare.

Sugimoto Veterinary Clinic
Nishikan-ku, Niigata City, Niigata Prefecture, Japan
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