Texas A&M Veterinary Hospital Implements New Client-Communication App
Posted December 01, 2017
For many, pets are significant members of the family, so when
our furry friends are in need of serious medical attention, the
treatment process can be stressful.
Now, Texas A&M University’s Veterinary Medical Teaching
Hospital (VMTH) is working to make that process a bit "EASE-ier"
with the introduction of a new mobile application that will allow
families to track the progress of their pet.
Veterinary technician Jaci Christensen scans the barcode on a
dog's collar, which links the patient to his/her owner so that the
VMTH can communicate with the family throughout a pet's
"EASE is a state-of-the-art mobile communication tool that allows
the VMTH to stay connected with, provide timely updates to, and
educate the families of patients who are being treated at the
hospital," said Bo Connell, assistant dean for hospital operations.
"We are the first teaching hospital in the country to bring this
innovative, digital-media platform to the practice of veterinary
medicine. This is one more example of Texas A&M leading on
EASE has been widely, and successfully, implemented in human
hospitals and healthcare systems for four years.
Through the application, VMTH doctors, surgeons, veterinary
technicians, residents, and the hospital client liaison will be
able to send customized updates—through texts, photos, and
videos—to the families of patients as the animal undergoes
treatment at the hospital.
"We are excited that for the first time, our doctors and nurses
will have a direct connection to their patients’ family members
before, during, and after procedures and treatments being done at
the hospital," Connell said. "It will allow our staff to give
timely updates to our clients and to keep them informed about the
care their loved ones are receiving during their stay."
The VMTH’s oncology, cardiology, dermatology, and ophthalmology
services are the first to utilize the app in its early adoption at
the Small Animal Hospital, with the plan to expand to other
services in both the Small and Large Animal Hospitals soon.
Jaci Christensen, licensed veterinary technician and oncology
technician supervisor, said the oncology service currently has 20
families signed up to use the app, with the families of eight
admitted patients actively receiving updates.
"A super important part of our job is keeping owners updated,
but we are so busy that it becomes difficult to do that in a timely
fashion, so EASE has really made our job easier by simplifying that
process," she said. "It’s a huge help."
Christensen said the oncology team uses EASE to send pre- and
post-operation picture and video messages to clients.
"We’ll send photo updates of patients, such as a photo of a dog
that has awakened from anesthesia, so any general update that may
make them feel better about their pet as they’re separated,"
"All of the owners really like it. Most of our patients have
cancer and are going through a cancer treatment of some sort, so
it’s a scary process," she said. "I’ve always thought our clients
are among the most dedicated to their pets because they’re going
through a lot to gain some time, so I think it means the world to
their owners that somebody is treating them as if it’s their own
"The app also seems to bring the clients a lot of comfort,"
Christensen continued. "It’s more personal to get photos of us
loving on their pets as we perform our duties. It allows them to
see that their pets are getting quality care."
To use EASE, the pet owners download the app, which is
compatible with both Apple and Android phones, and register the
patient before his or her arrival to the VMTH. Families have the
ability to select the types of updates they want to receive and
also can invite other family members to receive updates.
Other features include messages that disappear after 60 seconds,
which protects patient confidentiality; the ability to communicate
in both English and Spanish; and following the pet’s treatment,
owners can take a real-time, customized survey to offer feedback to
Montgomery, Texas, resident Peggy Raabe is among Texas A&M’s
first EASE users. She brought her 7-year-old white Labrador
retriever, Molly, to the VMTH on Tuesday to have a soft-tissue
sarcoma removed from her hind leg.
While not familiar with similar applications, Raabe said she
signed up for EASE with the help of the VMTH staff and found it
extremely easy to use. She received pictures of Molly as she
awaited getting her bloodwork done and in the morning before her
surgery, which she was able to share with her husband, who is
working in Kuwait; her daughter also signed up to receive the
The hospital staff also called Raabe with updates throughout the
process, but she said having EASE gave her something she couldn’t
get by talking on the phone.
"It is wonderful to have something like this when you’re worried
about your pet," Raabe said. "It was wonderful to be able to see
Molly; they took pictures and I had a video this morning, and it
was good to know she wasn’t stressed and that everyone was taking
good care of her.
"I actually called my vet as soon as they messaged me and told
me that she came through surgery really well and it went better
than they expected," she said. "I told her how awesome the app is
and that they should get it."
You may find more information about EASE at easeapplications.com.
For more information about the Texas A&M College of
Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences, please visit our
website at vetmed.tamu.edu
or join us on Facebook
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Contact Information: Megan Palsa, Executive Director of
Communications, Media & Public Relations, Texas A&M College
of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Science; firstname.lastname@example.org
; 979-862-4216; 979-421-3121 (cell)
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