Welcome to the second installment of our Plumb’s™ review series, where we’ll be talking with veterinarians who use Plumb’s Pro™ in practice. Stay tuned as we discover what brought them to Plumb’s Pro™, what they like most, how they use it in practice, and more.
You might assume a veterinary clinic that’s been serving its community for over 80 years would be pretty set in its ways. But that isn’t the case for Northwood Animal Hospital (NAH) in High Point, North Carolina, where it has been in business since 1940.
When NAH owner and medical director Rebecca Slivka, DVM, recognized that upgrading her existing Plumb’s Veterinary Drugs® subscription to a Plumb’s Pro™ subscription might free up time to focus on other aspects of the hospital, she quickly decided to add it to her practice.
Why Plumb’s Pro™?
“At the end of the day, if I can get things done quicker, then I’ve got a little more time to catch up on my records,” Dr. Slivka said when asked what time savings Plumb’s Pro™ brought her. “If I can get an appointment done a little bit quicker, then maybe I can spend more time on another appointment where I want to look into something specific. Or even just assisting my colleagues.”
Dr. Slivka described what it’s like to run “the hustle and bustle” of a practice that’s been in High Point for so many years.
“We’re pretty much just a primary care general practice. We see small animals like dogs and cats. Occasionally, we might see an exotic like a bird or a rabbit. We do some boarding, and we have a little doggy daycare.
“Normally, we might have a procedure, like surgery or a dental, and we try to keep those in the morning. Besides that, it’s just seeing appointments. We have a lot of people that schedule out, but we also have same-day sick appointments, and we schedule walk-in appointments. It’s mainly going from one patient to the next throughout the day.”
Dr. Slivka described three particular areas where Plumb’s Pro™ helps with her packed schedule every day:
1. Instant access to trusted drug information
“[Plumb’s Pro] makes it super easy to look up the [drug] dosage. I have [Plumb’s Pro] right at the desktop I use when I’m prescribing medications on my personal workstation,” Dr. Slivka said, adding, “It saves time if I have a patient on other medications, like a heart disease patient or a patient on seizure medication, where I want to prescribe medicine. I want to make sure it won’t interfere, so I look up the drug interaction.”
2. Clinical decision support with Dx & Tx monographs
She appreciates the practicality of having all her diagnostic and treatment information organized and available in one place with Plumb’s Pro™.
“I like the diagnostics and treatment write-ups for certain conditions. Because it’s really easy to know if you’re on the right track in diagnosing something, and then the treatment is very thorough. So instead of looking through a text or having to look through multiple sources, it’s nice having it all in one place.”
The Dx & Tx monographs are Dr. Slivka’s favorite feature on Plumb’s Pro™ because they help her be more confident in her diagnostic and treatment options.
In a recent case, she saw a dog she suspected had Addison’s disease, but diagnostics were limited due to financial constraints.
She reviewed the hypoadrenocorticism Dx & Tx in Plumb’s Pro™ and found that bloodwork and clinical signs were consistent with Addison’s disease. The treatment section discussed several different options for treatment, and she was able to decide on an appropriate treatment that worked within the owner’s financial constraints.
“That was just one [instance] where [Plumb’s Pro] helped guide me through the case because we were limited in what we could do. But it helped with the diagnosis and feeling more confident about the treatment. So, in that case, it made a big difference.”
3. Easy and efficient pet owner education
Dr. Slivka also relies on Plumb’s Pro™ to provide expert, easy-to-understand patient guides.
“It’s helped with our client education,” she noted. “I can give the client information that I know is relevant. Whereas before, I had to go look up stuff online and find a website that I thought looked good and then kind of read over it to make sure it was okay to give to the client. With Plumb’s, I can trust that the information is good to give to the client.”
She describes having the same level of trust in the Plumb’s™ medication guides and how they’ve helped with client communication.
“For example, I diagnosed a dog with Cushing’s. So I gave the owner the Cushing’s handout and the [trilostane] handout because that medication has a lot of side effects. I like that the information is up-to-date, and that is something a lot of clients expect these days. A textbook might be a few years old and might not be as relevant now. But I know with Plumb’s, because it is electronic, it stays updated. And I think that is something that is valuable as well.”
All in all, Dr. Slivka attests that Plumb’s Pro™ was well worth her investment.
“As often as I use it, I’d say I’ve probably become dependent on it. If I didn’t have it, I would struggle because I use it so much. So in that aspect, it’s totally worth the cost.”
Now that she’s used Plumb’s Pro™ in her practice, Dr. Slivka wholeheartedly recommends it to other veterinarians.
“I would definitely tell them to get Plumb’s Pro,” she said. “As I mentioned, it’s something I can’t imagine not having. It’s information that is detailed, yet succinct as well. It’s not information overload. You’re not trying to look through different resources or message threads. It gives you good differentials on certain symptoms or possible conditions. I mean the information is very useful, it’s practical. Other resources might recommend doing things that aren’t practical.
“For a general practitioner or primary care, I think the information is very beneficial and usable for everyday practice. Just having the information to service your clients is easier and something they’re expecting.”
Improving the quality of life for patients and serving their owners to the best of her ability is a source of pride for Dr. Slivka. The Northwood mission statement is “to educate and serve the clients and pets of our community with compassion and integrity.” And since her hospital has been around for 82 years and counting, Dr. Slivka and her staff are definitely living up to those goals.
Special thanks to Rebecca Slivka, DVM, for taking the time to talk with us and share her experiences with Plumb’s Pro™.
Interested in sharing your experience with Plumb’s Pro™? Get in touch with us here—we’d love to chat.
Ready to see how this clinical decision support tool can support you? Get your Plumb’s Pro™ subscription today.