Veterinary Informatics


Veterinary Informatics is the discipline concerned with the applications of information science, engineering, and computer technology to support veterinary teaching, research, and practice. The resources listed below include both veterinary and medical computing applications and programs. Many health technologies for humans are utilized in veterinary science; in fact most of them work the same way they work in a traditional health facility. Veterinary clinics make uses of electronic medical records and computerized billing and scheduling systems. Though technology is being explored for more efficient testing and treatments, most technology in the veterinary system is focused on billing and patient records.

Avimark (example of veterinary EHR system): this is a patient record, it looks very similar to a human's record with patient history, updates for future visits and billing information.)


Veterinary informatics applies information technology to healthcare. Veterinary informatics and the larger field of medical informatics is often called health care informatics or biomedical informatics, and forms part of the wider domain of eHealth. These later-generation terms reflect the substantive contribution of the citizen & non-medical professions to the generation and usage of healthcare data and related information. Additionally, medical informaticians are active in bioinformatics and other fields not strictly defined as health care.

The Veterinary community has been ahead in the realm of health informatics.As early as 1981 The Association of Veterinary Informatics (AVI) was founded.
The society's goals include:
  • Serving the membership as an educational resource
  • Promoting the use of information technology and electronic communications in all aspects of the profession
  • Developing and promoting standards in veterinary information management.

Every year a symposium is held to reinforce the goals and mission of veterinary informatics at the Talbot Symposium. Talbot Symposium 2007's focus was "on topics that demonstrate how the integration of informatics and computer technology can increase the quality of patient care; provide educational enrichment and enjoyment for practitioners, hospital staff, educators and students. We also hope to demonstrate how Informatics can ultimately affect the bottom lines of both private practices and university teaching hospitals."

Animals and Privacy
Though animal hospitals and veterinarians do not have to adhere to HIPAA, often they protect an animal and an owners privacy just as fiercely. The AAHA (American Animal Health Asociation) is an association that recently started accrediting animal hospital that meet certain standards including privacy. Animals do not have rights to privacy, but their owners do have the right to privacy for their property, and an animal is considered private property. These protections are most important in matters of family disputes (such as divorce) and husbandry (especially horses). The privacy issues in veterinary medicine differ greatly than in human privacy, thus the adoption of EHR is an easier process.

Web Resources:
Veterinary Informatics Links
Association for Veterinary Informatics
Talbot Symposium

Related Terminology:

  • Bioinformatics
  • eHealth
  • Telemedicine
  • Telehealth
  • Veterinarian