Veterinary medicine is a vast, intricate profession. Pet owners have many choices when finding quality medical care for their pets, and we have a great responsibility to care for them with the utmost dedication and compassion regardless of their species, health history or current situation.
BluePearl recognizes that animals deserve the same standard of care as their human counterparts, so we are on a mission to elevate veterinary medicine through medical quality and excellence. We are a leader in our industry – a charge we do not take lightly – and our greatest desire is to continue to set the standard for veterinary care.
Quality of care drives everything we do.
As veterinary technology and treatments advance, so do best practices and company-wide resources. BluePearl is constantly evolving to improve our processes, equipment and patient experience while providing our Associates with the tools they need to implement these changes with ease. Every patient and owner interaction is an opportunity for us to adapt and develop new approaches to raise the standard of care – for our organization and our industry as a whole. With each decision we make and initiative we launch, medical care and medical excellence are the driving forces that fuel our every move.
When it comes to medical quality, we are in perpetual pursuit of better, more sustainable and more effective treatments and standards.
At BluePearl, this isn’t just a guiding principle for our clinicians. Our focus on medical quality touches everyone in our organization. We equip every Associate with knowledge, guidelines and emerging research by investing in programs and initiatives that set them up for daily success.
How do we distinguish medical quality from medical excellence? Medical excellence is the principle of consistently practicing the best possible medicine daily while constantly striving to improve our knowledge and care for our patients.
Our Associates are some of the best in the veterinary industry, providing excellent care to our patients every day – but we will always seek continuous improvement for the sake of the next patient coming through our hospital doors. Why? Because we have two crucial responsibilities: helping our people thrive while paving the way for new levels of excellence in veterinary medicine.
Ongoing training programs, such as emERge™, Urgent Track, internships and residency programs, set the stage for medical excellence by providing industry resources and best practices to new clinicians in our teaching hospitals. Not only will these Associates learn from world-class mentors early in their careers, but they will experience medical excellence from day one and learn to raise the standard in veterinary medicine.
How does BluePearl raise the standard of care in veterinary medicine?
1. Continuous safety improvements.
Patient safety event reporting.
Ensuring patient safety is a fundamental component of our medical care. No matter the age, medical history, or current ailment a patient faces, BluePearl should be the place every owner can trust to treat their pet with the utmost care.
Our constant pursuit of superior medical quality includes a robust reporting system to document circumstances that may have led to an unexpected outcome. Our patient safety event reporting system not only tracks these incidents to learn from mistakes, but it creates a venue for open discussion to learn from and identify flaws that can be changed to prevent future errors from happening.
Like human medicine, veterinary medicine must examine and learn from these patient safety events to improve its practices and set a new standard of care going forward.
Patient safety committees.
So how does our large organization monitor these patient safety events and make appropriate changes at scale?
We firmly believe that our Associates and local hospital teams should have the power to make changes to address the unique challenges they face every day. As such, BluePearl has established Patient Safety Committees composed of veterinarians, vet techs, medical directors, and many include client care coordinators and local leadership like practice managers, ER service heads, vet tech managers and vet tech trainers. These committees help our whole organization drive medical quality in our hospitals, combining their skills, knowledge, and experience to deliver lasting solutions for their teams.
The issues and answers that may work for a BluePearl hospital in one region may not have the same efficacy in another area or may even make it harder for those Associates to do their jobs well. That’s why we place complete trust in our local Patient Safety Committees to make the right decisions for their hospital teams and patients.
2. Proactive medical quality initiatives.
BluePearl doesn’t just talk about making changes and pursuing exceptional medical quality. We put it into practice with proactive medical quality initiatives to equip all our Associates with the tools they need to succeed every day.
The goal of our initiatives is not to make a hard-and-fast list of rules and regulations that every veterinarian or hospital must follow. Rather, we want to provide guidelines or best practices that make it easier for them to provide the world-class care BluePearl is known for. These initiatives are resources our hospitals can draw from to take any guesswork out of the equation and replace it with structure.
The RECOVER initiative provides our clinical Associates with standardized veterinary CPR guidelines. They can become certified in Basic Life Support (BLS) or Advanced Life Support (ALS) through this initiative, earning the only CPR certification recognized by the American College of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care (ACVECC) and endorsed by the Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care Society (VECCS).
We’ve also standardized and updated all crash carts in BluePearl hospitals to be equipped with the most current RECOVER guidelines so every Associate can provide the same standard of care.
The RECOVER initiative was initially developed by Dr. Dan Fletcher and Dr. Manual Boller, diplomates of the American College of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care. The term “RECOVER” stands for the REassessment Campaign On VEterinary CPR.
Until these two doctors stepped in, there weren’t standards or guidelines in place for veterinary CPR – a stark contrast to human CPR guidelines from the American Heart Association, which are reviewed and improved every five years. Now, veterinarians and technicians across the country have the latest research and best practices to deliver the most effective veterinary CPR possible.
In another effort to advance medical excellence, BluePearl has recently implemented the I-PASS initiative. I-PASS is an evidence-based practice adapted from human healthcare to veterinary healthcare to communicate patient information accurately and effectively. Whether Associates are communicating verbally or through written notes, I-PASS helps patient handoffs go smoothly.
The acronym “I-PASS” is a checklist that enables Associates to cover every critical aspect of patient handoff:
I – Illness severity
P – Patient summary
A – Acton list
S – Situation awareness and contingency planning
S – Synthesis by receiver
Every hospital in the I-PASS program also has a Handoff Champion, an Associate responsible for ensuring all handoff elements are followed in their respective facilities.
Handoff Champions also lead debriefs regarding the initiative, utilize project tools to improve the program’s efficacy at their hospitals, and identify hurdles that could possibly hinder its progress. They facilitate lasting change to ensure that their team members embrace the I-PASS initiative and improve medical quality throughout our whole organization.
Many pets receiving emergency or urgent care require anesthesia for procedures or treatments. In these high-stress situations, it is critical to follow every step, task, and safety procedure to ensure the best possible outcome for that patient. That’s why BluePearl has launched the Checklist initiative.
The Checklist initiative aids our Associates by providing simple yet effective safety checklists in our operating rooms and beyond. Based on the World Health Organization’s Surgery Safety Checklist, the focal point of the Checklist Initiative is to improve the rate of incident-free surgeries and ensure anesthesia safety for every patient on the table – just as the Surgery Safety Checklist has done in human healthcare.
In addition to improving medical quality at BluePearl hospitals, the Checklist initiative also encourages partnership and effective communication between Associates. Not only will this help our teams manage complex cases in a collaborative environment, but it will also serve as a resource to help our hospital staff stay collectively agile in an ever-evolving healthcare delivery system.
3. Industry-leading equipment.
Medical technology is constantly changing, improving, and shifting. Our objective at BluePearl is to secure the most advanced equipment possible to provide the best standard of care in every scenario.
Advanced diagnostics & imaging technology.
Our advanced technology starts in our hospitals. Not only are they equipped with in-house labs for faster, more effective testing, but our Associates utilize cutting-edge diagnostics and imaging technology to achieve precise, actionable results.
Many BluePearl hospitals have CT and MRI machines, among much more advanced equipment. For example, some of our hospitals are equipped with linear accelerators (LINACs) to address tumors and provide effective radiation therapy with less risk of damaging healthy tissue surrounding the cancerous area. This equipment is lifesaving for humans, and we firmly believe that pets deserve the same high standard of care.
Annual technology upgrades.
Technology drives our world forward. And without the latest technology and equipment in our hospitals, our clinicians simply cannot do their job effectively. As such, BluePearl has created a dedicated budget for improving medical equipment and technology annually.
Every year, medical leaders collaborate with operations leaders to discuss possible upgrades, uncover shortcomings of our current systems, and explore new technology on the horizon. We aim to set the standard of care and redefine excellence in veterinary medicine. That focus must be a priority for leaders and stakeholders as well as clinical team members. Our Associates are some of the best in the field, so we want to equip them with the best equipment in our industry whenever possible.
4. Cutting-edge software.
Advanced software and technology benefit every position in our hospitals, from emergency clinicians to coordinators at the front desk. Our goal is to help every Associate feel more effective, efficient, and accurate without rushing through their tasks.
Instinct is an operating system specifically built for veterinary hospitals, meant to streamline our workflows and keep every charge, note, and treatment plan for any given patient in one digestible location. It also helps our coordinators manage patient requests and queued patients, meaning accurate wait times and real-time updates for our patients.
While BluePearl is a leading provider of emergency, urgent, and specialty care, we partner closely with the primary care community in many ways, including efficiently sharing our patients’ information with their primary care veterinarians. The BluePearl Portal makes it easy and convenient for primary care DVMs to seamlessly continue care when our patients go home for lasting results and more peace of mind for owners.
BluePearl also utilizes Cornerstone, a practice management software system that allows us to easily integrate diagnostic images and results from our equipment. This dramatically reduces the margin of error in reporting while making it much easier for clinicians to share that critical information with their teams.
Charting and taking notes for medical records can slow down any staff member in a medical setting, and veterinary medicine is no different. That’s why we’ve invested in software to expedite that process so Associates can spend less time on charts and more time with pets and owners. Talkatoo and Text Expander are two systems we leverage to increase medical record efficiency and make it easier for our people to document critical information without sacrificing valuable time after their shift to catch up on paperwork.
With every addition or change we make to our core software systems, our goal is to make it easier for associates to do what they do best: provide outstanding, compassionate care to every pet that needs their help.
Pursuing excellence through medical quality.
Achieving the highest level of medical quality and excellence is a faithful pursuit at BluePearl. Through our quality initiatives, advanced technology, and continuous improvement of systems and processes, we aim to set the standard of veterinary medicine and push it to the next level. But we don’t chase this goal for recognition or accolades. We pursue excellence so that we may leave our industry better than we found it, making it easier for pets across the country to get the quality care they deserve no matter where they are. In doing so, we hope to leave a legacy of excellence for decades to come.