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NetVet, an online veterinary medicine resource, defines veterinary informatics as "the discipline concerned with the application of information science, engineering and computer technology to support veterinary teaching, research and practice." 1

Information Technology applications are now becoming commonplace in veterinary practices. 2 Practices are moving towards becoming paperless as they implement electronic medical records (EMRs) for their patients. 3

EMRs provide veterinaries with the ability to provide standardized clinical patient records and reports and the opportunity for providing their clients with continuous care education. Some EMRs come with a graphical module that provides charts that clients can take home and see the improvement in the weight of their pets due to treatment or change in diet.


EMRs can come as standalone applications or part of a veterinary practice management system, which provides veterinaries with tools for managing all aspects of the practice, such as billing, printing out of reminders and handouts, decision support and outcomes analysis.

Other veterinary software applications have been developed for use outside of the practice. These applications can be used for activities such as diseases surveillance and diagnosis, parasite identification and collection of epidemiological and field data.

Information management systems, like those managed by Centre for Animal Disease Information and Analysis (CADIA), collect, manage, analyse and dissemination veterinary epidemiological, field and market data and make them available for general veterinary use.

The development and promotion of standards in veterinary information management is being championed by the Association for Veterinary Informatics This is a non-profit organization, which through its members also promotes the use of information technology and electronic communication in all aspects of veterinary medicine.


  1. Boschert, Ken. [WWW] 12TH September 1998. Veterinary Informatics. http://netvet.wustl.edu/info.htm 15TH April 2003

  2. Smith, Ronald D.; Williams, Mitsuko. Applications of informatics in veterinary medicine. Bull Med Libr Assoc. 2000 January; 88 (1): 0049–0051

  3. Holbrook, Anne, et al. [WWW] A critical pathway for electronic medical record selection. http://www.thecem.net/Downloads/path.pdf 16TH April 2003.

Useful Links

  • Veterinary Informatics
    A brief definition of veterinary informatics, followed a list of veterinary resources available on the Internet.



International Medical Informatics Association
American Medical Informatics Association
UK Health Informatics Society
British Computer Society Health Informatics Committee
European Federation for Medical Informatics
American Nursing Informatics Association
American Telemedicine Association
Association for Veterinary Informatics

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