Summer is right around the corner and with flowers in bloom and leafs returning to the trees it is that time of year for checkups. We want to make sure those winter bugs are out of our system, and welcome in the warmth of the sun with a clean slate of health. Just as much as we take care of ourselves, many of us are taking care of our furry friends too, at least many of us at CCHI are. A few of our cat-loving staffers have been taking their bundles of fur to the vet and after sharing our stories we quickly realized everyone should have care as great as our cats do! From electronic health records to follow-up phone calls, our cats are getting better care than any humans we know.

As you may have seen on Facebook, our Executive Director. Dede took one of her cats Piper to the vet recently for some dental work. Before Piper underwent her care, Dede had an estimate of the cost for the services, a negotiable payment plan with no interest and reasonable monthly payments. Furthermore, Piper has an electronic health record that included an amazing color discharge sheet with information and pictures of Piper’s care. The last discharge sheet I got was six pages of text with hardly any clear cut information on what to expect.

Great cat-care continued when one of our fellows, Ashley, took her furry friend to the vet too. Not only did the vet outline why Fred was under the weather, but he also provided Ashley with solutions she can incorporate into his every day cat life. However, the care didn’t stop there. The vet even called a few days after to check-in on Fred and see if there was anything Ashley or Fred needed. I am not sure about you, but I can’t remember any time a doctor of mine has called to follow-up with me to see how I am doing or if I need anything else.

All this talk about cat-care reminded me of how easy it was when I moved here to get my fur-child’s medical history to his new vet. Atticus had acute kidney failure before we made the journey to Colorado and once I arrived in Denver first on my list was to find him a new vet so he could have proper follow-up care. After finding a new vet and scheduling an appointment I called the vet in Arizona and in the 30 minutes between that call and arriving at the vet’s office they had Atticus’ full medical history. Two years later, consent forms and countless phone calls my complete medical history is still not to my doctors in Colorado.

Part of the troubles I am having in getting my medical history to Colorado is that none of my care was interconnected, I had no electronic health record like Atticus, Piper or Fred. Electronic health records, EHRs, are an electronic collection of a patient’s health information that can be shared across different health care settings. Like with our furry friends EHRs improve quality and convenience of patient care, improves care coordination, increases practice efficiencies and cost savings, as well as increases patient participation in their care. EHRs have a lot of perks and are a beneficial component of Obamacare. With health care reform going into full swing come January 1, 2014, every one, human and furry friend alike, can have care as great as the cat-care Piper, Atticus, and Fred receive. Cat-care for all! 

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