The information recorded by veterinary practitioners about patients is extremely useful for understanding the diseases affecting patients. The Small Animal Veterinary Surveillance Network (SAVSNET) has an established methodology for collecting data and making it ready for research which requires owners to opt out of participation if they do not wish for their animal's data to be included. This approach works because owners visit a veterinary practice where they can find out about SAVSNET before the consultation begins.
However, equine patients are rarely transported to a veterinary practice. It is much more usual for the veterinary practitioner to visit the location where the patient is kept. EVSNET will establish the ethical, owner consent, data capture and data sharing framework for collecting equine electronic health data, and design a simple clinical syndrome-level coding system in collaboration with equine practitioners. Equine veterinary practices will then be invited to join EVSNET and submit data for equine research and surveillance.
Benchmarking and clinical data research provides a tangible benefit to UK veterinary practice. In recognition of this, the RCVS Practice Standards Scheme awards points to practices that contribute clinical data to EVSNET.