About Clerkin Vets
Advanced technology plays an important role in almost every aspect of our lives and veterinary medicine is no exception to this universal trend. The industry has benefitted from many advances during the past decade in relation to diagnosis, treatment, care and customer communications.
For James Clerkin of Clerkin Vets, an Irish family business of three large animal practices with two small animal hospitals and a porcine and poultry practice, a small look at the equipment in the back of his jeep is enough to know that this practice is continuously evolving.
Clerkin’s have made significant investments in DR X-ray machines, ultrasound, endoscopy, dental machines, diagnostic tools and a full IDEXX lab. However, there was one area of the practice where James felt that the technology had failed to move with the times, TB testing.
Clerkin Vets began as a cattle practice in 1991 and has been a member of the XLVets Group since its inception in 2010. Although Clerkin’s has vastly expanded and diversified since its early days, the bovine side of the business remains to the fore as does the ongoing, onerous task of TB testing.
I estimate that in a typical testing week
we are saving at least 5 hours of travel time, around 2.5 hours in the field...and at least
an hour of office time uploading data
James Clerkin, Clerkin Vets
7 Reasons Why
Taurus benefits at a glance
Old Devices & Outdated Technology
With over 2000 clients on the TB testing side of the business, James and his team were finding the old-style 1990’s field testing software that they had been using for many years increasingly cumbersome. In the era of smartphones and wireless technology it was completely unsuited to any future industry developments such as the potential enforcement of RFID ear tag readers or the capture of geographic data to confirm an onsite presence during testing. It was also expensive to license the software whilst the expensive, outdated hardware was slow and laborious when it came to field data entry.
The workflow of the system saw James having to travel between his practices to connect to a desktop computer and manually download the herd profile of the cattle to be tested from the Department of Agriculture’s (DAFM) AHCS system. Results have to be manually uploaded to the same computer and then transferred to the DAFM system at the end of testing meaning frequent trips to the office.
More worryingly, James and his team knew that if a field device was lost or broke down, then any data captured was unrecoverable which would mean a complete retest of all the cattle on the device.
Acutely aware of how out of the place the system was amongst all the other Clerkin Vets technology, James felt that there had to be an alternative to improve the efficiency of a task that was so dominant within his working week.
A chance encounter with KOREC Ireland, (the digital mapping and survey experts that serviced his existing date loggers for TB Testing), led to him hear about Taurus TB Testing software. KOREC is a specialist in the development of customisable field data capture applications and has designed Taurus specifically to address the daily challenges that vets were facing when using their outdated hardware and software.
Low cost and easy to set up online licensing
Save up to 2.5 hours/week in the field thanks to intuitive & simple data entry
Future-proofed for any likely DAFM requirements
Wireless upload & download, saving a further 5 hours of travelling each week
Android or IoS operating system that can run on a choice of loggers or smartphones
Secure storage of data in the cloud
Ability to view real-time reports and useful progress information via the Taurus web portal
Addressing the Pain Points
James had a clear idea of what he required from a new system and was interested to find out if Taurus would address the pain points that were costing him time, money and efficiency on an almost daily basis. His wish list for a new system included:
Wireless data transfer to cut down travel time by allowing the Clerkin team to download and assign herd profiles from any computer using an online portal requiring only an internet connection.
Ease of use with straight forward, intuitive data entry and minimal training for his vets.
Choice of Android or IoS software running on a range of modern data loggers or smartphones that could also offer built-in barcode and RFID readers and a camera to capture images for clinical notes and practice records.
Secure, real-time cloud data storage to keep data safe in the case of a failure or loss of a field device.
Live updates to ensure that the software was always up to date with the latest DAFM regulations.
Value for money with straight-forward online licence purchasing and renewal combined with sensibly priced data logger options
There's no doubt that Taurus software is
exactly the step we needed...to bring the TB testing process up to the same level...as
the rest of the services our practice offer
James Clerkin, Clerkin Vets
Tried & Tested
Following a trial of the Taurus software running on a Nautiz X41 rugged handheld with a built-in barcode and RFID scanner, James purchased four licenses for his team and has been using them continuously.
“There’s no doubt that the Taurus software is exactly the step we needed to take if we were to bring the TB testing process up to the same level of efficiency and technological advancement as the rest of the services our practice and hospitals offer. Whilst I had a clear ‘wish list’ of what I wanted a system to deliver, I had no idea of the extent of the benefits it would bring to our team. These are as simple as having a hand free due to the built-in Nautiz barcode scanner rather than using a wand to record an ear tag (and having to clean it first), to the peace of mind we have because we now have the ability to identify and record missing animals as we go and sign off data there and then in the field.”
“During our switch to Taurus, their support staff have been available and helpful throughout although we’ve rarely needed them. I accept that switching a new system isn’t rocket science but this one has been developed specifically to address the pain points of vets, such as myself, who have long been frustrated by the discrepancy between our TB testing procedure and the rest of our working practices. Young vets, in particular, expect to work with equipment that reflects the world they have grown up in, namely one of smartphones, wireless technology and data integration and now we have that! There is literally no excuse to get anything wrong and knowing that delivers tremendous confidence to us in what is a very important area of our work.”
“However, we are a business and the tangible benefits have also been very evident. I estimate that in a typical testing week we are saving at least 5 hours of travel time, around 2.5 hours in the field due to easy data entry and at least an hour of office time uploading data. Over the period of a year our new workflow can potentially save us over 500 working hours, time and money that can be used in other important areas of our business.”