Have you ever thought about giving your clients an information prescription? Directing them to some web sites where they can learn more about their pet’s disease or treatment? Here is an interesting article to read.
Kogan LR, Schoenfeld-Tacher R, Gould L, Viera AR, Hellyer PW. Providing an information prescription in veterinary medical clinics: a pilot study. J Med Libr Assoc. 2014 Jan;102(1):41-6. (full text of the article)
The study assesses the impact on client behavior and attitudes toward receiving an information prescription as part of a veterinary office visit.
A random sample of veterinary clinics from a Western US metropolitan area was asked to distribute an information prescription in addition to their customary veterinary services. All clients, regardless of the reason for their visit, were presented with an information prescription: a handout that included the uniform resource locator (URL) to a general veterinary medicine website and several tips to help their clients make more informed choices about where to seek pet health information online.
Nearly 40% of clients who reported that they remembered receiving the information prescription accessed the website at least once. Of the clients who reported accessing the suggested website, 86.3% reported finding it “very helpful” or “somewhat helpful.” Nearly all the clients (87.9%) reported feeling the information on the site helped them make better decisions for their pets. Most clients reported that it helped them talk to their veterinarians (89.9%) and added to the information they received during their veterinary visits (83.5%).
Clients appreciate and utilize veterinary prescriptions, suggesting that this is a tool that both veterinarians and librarians can use to improve animal health and client relations.
The value placed on reliable Internet information by veterinary clients suggests several opportunities for librarians to become more proactive in partnering with veterinarians to facilitate the education of pet owners.