Offering Dog Licensing options at Rabies Vaccination Clinics

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Thomas Frank
Offering Dog Licensing options at Rabies Vaccination Clinics
What’s On Your Mind?: 

As part of the Local Performance Management Initiative (brought to you by NJDOH Office of Local Public Health and Rutgers Office of Continuing Professional Education), Colts Neck used Rutgers’ practical QI approach to examine and improve the way that Colts Neck runs rabies clinics and issues dog licenses.

THE ISSUE:
It’s important to ensure that all dogs are vaccinated against rabies, a deadly viral infection, to prevent them from getting sick, and to make sure they don't spread the virus to humans. We need to be able to keep track of dogs in the township in case there are any problems.

Colts Neck conducts rabies vaccination clinics and processes animal licenses, but it did these two related tasks separately. This meant our residents had to have two separate interactions with us. It also meant owners had to show proof of vaccination when they applied for a dog license, and this could be a barrier for some.

THE OPPORTUNITY:
Colts Neck identified a great opportunity to potentially boost both vaccination and licensing rates by having both processes occur simultaneously. Licensing is also an incentive to ensure owners get their dogs vaccinated. It will be easier to do the licensing at the same time as the vaccination is given.

THE IMPROVEMENT:
Colts Neck has been conducting clinics for many years and already has a system in place for giving the vaccinations. To offer licensing at a remote location (vaccination clinics), we are working on setting up a way to electronically access our database of pet owners and to bring / set up a printer so that residents can receive their dog licenses at the clinic. We already had the computer, we purchased the printer, and we’re now working with township information technology staff on how to access the licensing database remotely. Once the database is set up for remote access, it will be easy for clinic staff to process a dog license at the same time as the dog is being vaccinated against rabies.

PROMISING PRACTICES:
Make sure you fully understand whatever process you are changing(a.k.a. write down all the steps in the process); that's the best way to ensure you find all the places for potential improvement.

Consult all of your staff who have a role in the work to ensure full knowledge of it. They will likely have good suggestions for improvement. And because at least some of them will likely be implementing any changes, it will help get them to buy into the new process.