How Every Veterinary Hospital Can Use Instinct’s Teaching Mode

Lyla Kotsch is a third-year veterinary student at the University of Georgia. She interned with Instinct this summer and continues as an Instinctual part time throughout the year. You can read more about her experience here.

If you work in a veterinary hospital, chances are you have at least one fairly new team member. The fact is, in our world high staff turnover is the norm. 🆘

In large veterinary teaching hospitals, turnover and temporary staff are even more common, with new interns, residents, and/or students arriving regularly!

It's already hard enough to integrate new members into a team while continuing to provide high-quality client service and safe patient care.

Knowing this, we need to find a way to make the staff onboarding process in your hospital as easy as possible.

👉 The good news? Instinct can help!

Notes from the Newbie

Before veterinary school, I worked full time as a veterinary assistant in a bustling 7-doctor, AAHA-accredited practice. I had worked part time in veterinary clinics before (eg, night shifts at a veterinary emergency hospital), but I had a lot to learn: like long-forgotten vaccine schedules, how to use the new practice management software, and my hospital’s procedures, just to name a few.

I consider myself a fast learner, but there was definitely a learning curve. I was still picking up new things every day, even after months on the job (I should have been charging a fluid pump fee for hospitalized patients this whole time?!).

When I started working at Instinct this past summer, my main goal was to learn how veterinary hospitals can leverage technology to deliver better patient care.

I think every hospital should be using Instinct’s Student/Draft Mode feature, as it can help prevent some of the mistakes that students, interns and externs, and new hires are likely to make. I wish I'd had this feature during my veterinary assistant training!

Who Can Benefit From Draft Mode

🎓 Veterinary Students & Externs

🧑‍⚕️ Interns and Residents

🙌 New Staff

In the days of paper charts, new staff, interns, or students might write up patient order drafts and then hand the patient’s chart to a supervisor.

The supervisor would subsequently make necessary changes with a pen or pencil, leading to messy and hard-to-read treatment plans.

Now, using Instinct’s Draft Mode, trainees can create a draft of patient orders, which requires approval in Instinct by certain users. This allows for a safe learning process that has a documented 'paper' trail that's easy to follow.

Draft Mode is useful for anyone learning the ropes at your veterinary hospital. Plus, teaching/learning permissions can be modified and removed at any time.

A cap and tassel icon is shown next to treatments ordered by a trainee. Treatments will show up as “Draft Orders” until verified by designated users. 

This feature still enables trainees to learn by doing, but in a neater and more efficient way, increasing patient safety and decreasing time spent on charting.

Teaching Mode Uses

Here are some of the best ways to use Instinct’s Draft Mode in your veterinary hospital.

🔬 Diagnostics

What diagnostics would you like to run to confirm that?

Although I am still in the didactic phase of my veterinary curriculum, this is already a question my peers and I get frequently from our mentors! Draft Mode allows students to consider their diagnostic approach and modify as necessary before orders are approved.

💊 Medications and Continuous Infusions

Instinct’s cutting-edge decision support tools help users (for example) calculate drug dosages based on patient weight. While this is helpful, many patients in our hospitals have complicating factors that affect drug or infusion choice and dose, and students and new staff may not be aware of all these factors.

Using Draft Mode, reviewers can edit medication choices and doses to ensure accuracy and patient safety.

On the medication ordering screen, a cap and tassel is again displayed as well as an an Order Draft button.

✔️ Miscellaneous Treatments

The value of Draft Mode isn’t just limited to diagnostics and medications. You can even use it to ensure those easy-to-forget miscellaneous treatments—like removing a patient’s IV catheter or reviewing missed charges before patient discharge—are scheduled and completed.

⚡ How to Set Up Teaching Mode

Your veterinary hospital administrators can easily control (and modify) these teaching permissions at any time in the Instinct Staff Admin.

Here's a quick guide.

1. Manage Roles

First, you'll need to add or create a role with draft permissions set. You can choose this permission for an existing role, but in this example, we've created a new role called "Student." To do this, head to the Instinct Admin, click on Staff, and then select the Manage option. Navigate to the role you created or want to add this permission to, and select the “create_draft_orders” box.

A Student user has been created and the "create draft orders" permission has been added.

2. Set Student Mode for Certain Staff

Next, you'll simply locate the staff member who needs draft permissions and add that role to their name. To do this, search for the staff member and add the role to their profile (see below)!

Adding the role to the correct user. Now their orders will require approval!

3. Set Who Can Approve Orders

Next, determine who can approve draft orders. You'll want to choose between the following options:

  1. To allow certain individual users the ability to approve: Create a separate role with the “approve draft orders” permission, and add this role to specific users who you want to approve draft orders.
  2. To allow all doctors to approve orders: Add the “approve draft orders” permission to the “Doctor” role.

In the Admin tab, navigate to Staff and select the Manage option to do this, just like you did in first step above.

In this example, the Approve Drafts role has been created and will be added to specific users who are approved to review draft orders.

Many Instinct hospitals apply these student/learning permissions to staff for a set period of time, as outlined in their onboarding materials.

And for internships, some of our hospitals keep these permissions on year-round, while others have interns in this role for a certain period of time after they start. You can easily customize this process to work seamlessly within your veterinary hospital's workflows.

Here’s to a safer, more efficient, and more hands-on onboarding process! 🧡

Show Comments