Veterinarians’ Use and Perceptions of Information and Communication Technologies

Main Article Content

Lori R Kogan Peter W Hellyer Rebecca Ruch-Gallie Mark Rishniw Regina Schoenfeld-Tacher


In order to better understand how Information and Communication Technologies are used in veterinary practice settings, 967 veterinarians were surveyed through VIN (veterinary information network). The most commonly used ICTs were the telephone and e-mail. Younger participants were more comfortable using text messaging, Skype, Facebook and blogging than older veterinarians. Most participants reported that their clinic requires a physical exam prior to electronic or phone consultations, and stated that they spent 1-5 hours per week providing these consultations, which are usually not billed to clients. Veterinarians under 39 years of age were least likely to report engaging in consultations after hours or on weekends. Veterinarians over 60 years of age were more likely to endorse the use of electronic or phone consultations for common clinical scenarios than their younger counterparts. Older veterinarians also endorsed the use of remote sensing devices to monitor patient health more frequently than their younger counterparts.

Article Details

How to Cite
KOGAN, Lori R et al. Veterinarians’ Use and Perceptions of Information and Communication Technologies. Medical Research Archives, [S.l.], v. 4, n. 2, july 2016. ISSN 2375-1924. Available at: <>. Date accessed: 03 mar. 2024.
veterinary practice, telemedicine, remote sensing devices, alternate modes of communication


Anderson, M. (2015). 6 facts about Americans and their smartphones. Retrieved from

Baptist, A. P., Thompson, M., Grossman, K. S., Mohammed, L., Sy, A., & Sanders, G. M. (2011). Social media, text messaging, and email-preferences of asthma patients between 12 and 40 years old. The Journal of Asthma: Official Journal of the Association for the Care of Asthma, 48(8), 824-830. doi:10.3109/02770903.2011.608460

Blackwell, M. J. (2001). Beyond philosophical differences: The future training of veterinarians. Journal of Veterinary Medical Education, 28(3), 148-152. Retrieved from

Bowen, J. L. (2006). Educational strategies to promote clinical diagnostic reasoning. The New England Journal of Medicine, 355(21), 2217-2225. doi:10.1056/NEJMra054782

Boyd, D. (2007). Social network sites: Public, private, or what? Knowledge Tree, 13(1), 1-7. Retrieved from

Brown, J. P., & Silverman, J. D. (1999). The current and future market for veterinarians and veterinary medical services in the United States. Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association, 215(2), 161-183.

Burns, G. A., Ruby, K. L., Debowes, R. M., Seaman, S. J., & Brannan, J. K. (2006). Teaching non-technical (professional) competence in a veterinary school curriculum. Journal of Veterinary Medical Education, 33(2), 301-308. Retrieved from;

Crotty, B. H., Tamrat, Y., Mostaghimi, A., Safran, C., & Landon, B. E. (2014). Patient-to-physician messaging: Volume nearly tripled as more patients joined system, but per capita rate plateaued. Health Affairs (Project Hope), 33(10), 1817-1822. doi:10.1377/hlthaff.2013.1145

Duggan, M., Ellison, N. B., Lampe, C., Lenhart, A. & Madden, M. (2015a). Demographics of key social networking platforms.

Duggan, M., Ellison, N. B., Lampe, C., Lenhart, A., & Madden, M. (2015b). Social media update 2014. Washington, DC: Pew Research Center. Retrieved from

Duggan, M., & Smith, A. (2013). Social media update 2013: 42% of online adults use multiple social networking sites, but Facebook remains the platform of choice. Retrieved from

Farnan, J. M., Snyder Sulmasy, L., Worster, B. K., Chaudhry, H. J., Rhyne, J. A., & Arora, V. M. (2013). Online medical professionalism: Patient and public relationships: Policy statement from the American college of physicians and the Federation of State Medical Boards. Annals of Internal Medicine, 158(8), 620-627. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-158-8-201304160-00100

Fox, S., & Rainie, L. (2014). The Web at 25 in the U.S. The overall verdict: The Internet has been a plus for society and an especially good thing for individual users. Retrieved from

Hughes, N. (2015). Fitness tracker users are older & richer, early smartwatch adopters mostly young men, survey finds. Retrieved from

Husain, I., & Spence, D. (2015). Can healthy people benefit from health apps? BMJ (Clinical Research Ed.), 350, h1887-h1887. doi:10.1136/bmj.h1887

iHealthBeat. (2013). What types of online tools and services do health care providers offer to their patients? Retrieved from

Interactive, H. (2002). Patient/physician online communication: many patients want it, would pay for it, and it would influence their choice of doctors and health plans. Health Care News, 2(8), 1-3.

Jayanthi, A. (2014). 93% of adult patients want e-mail communication with physicians. Retrieved from

Katz, S. J., Nissan, N., & Moyer, C. A. (2004). Crossing the digital divide: Evaluating online communication between patients and their providers. The American Journal of Managed Care, 10(9), 593-598. Retrieved from

Kogan, L. R., Hellyer, P. W., Stewart, S. M., & Dowers, K. L. (2015). Recruitment and hiring strategies of private practitioners and implications for practice management training of veterinary students. Journal of Veterinary Medical Education, 42(2), 97-106. Retrieved from;

Kogan, L. R., Schoenfeld-Tacher, R., Simon, A. A., & Viera, A. R. (2010). The Internet and pet health information: Perceptions and behaviors of pet owners and veterinarians. Internet Journal of Veterinary Medicine, 8(1). Retrieved from;

Kogan, L. R., Schoenfeld-Tacher, R., Gould, L., Viera, A. R., & Hellyer, P. W. (2014). Providing an information prescription in veterinary medical clinics: A pilot study. Journal of the Medical Library Association: JMLA, 102(1), 41-46. doi:10.3163/1536-5050.102.1.008

Kogan, L. R., Schoenfeld-Tacher, R., & Viera, A. R. (2012). The Internet and health information: Differences in pet owners based on age, gender, and education. Journal of the Medical Library Association: JMLA, 100(3), 197-204. doi:10.3163/1536-5050.100.3.010

Kurtz, S. M. (2002). Doctor-patient communication: Principles and practices. The Canadian Journal of Neurological Sciences.Le Journal Canadien Des Sciences Neurologiques, 29 Suppl 2, S23-S29. Retrieved from

Landro, L. (2015, Jun 25, 2015). Why connected medicine is becoming vital to health care; Joseph Kvedar explains how better communications and digital tools are revolutionizing health care. Wall Street Journal (Online) Retrieved from

Lee, J. L., Choudhry, N. K., Wu, A. W., Matlin, O. S., Brennan, T. A., & Shrank, W. H. (2015). Patient use of email, Facebook, and physician websites to communicate with physicians: A national online survey of retail pharmacy users. Journal of General Internal Medicine, Retrieved from

Lella, A. (2014). 25-34 year-olds are the heaviest mobile app users in U.S. Retrieved from
Leventhal, R. (2015). Survey: Patients value tech, but not in place of physician interaction. Retrieved from

Levine, S. (2010). Blogger demographics: Who is responsible for the majority of blog content? Retrieved from

Lindberg, B., Nilsson, C., Zotterman, D., Söderberg, S., & Skär, L. (2013). Using information and communication technology in home care for communication between patients, family members, and healthcare professionals: A systematic review. International Journal of Telemedicine and Applications, 2013, 461829-461829. doi:10.1155/2013/461829

Malley, A.,S., Samuel, D., Bond, A.,M., & Carrier, E. (2012).
After-hours care and its coordination with primary care in the U.S. Journal of General Internal Medicine, 27(11), 1406-1415. doi:10.1007/s11606-012-2087-4

Mars, M., & Auer, R. E. J. (2006). Telemedicine in veterinary practice. Journal of the South African Veterinary Association, 77(2), 75-78. Retrieved from

McArthur, M., & Fitzgerald, J. (2013). Companion animal veterinarians' use of clinical communication skills. Australian Veterinary Journal, 91(9), 374-380. doi:10.1111/avj.12083

McClintick, C. (2014). Physician texting grows as patients demand real-time communication. Retrieved from

Meinhold, B. (2014). Wearable-tech market for pets expected to reach $2.6 billion by 2025. Retrieved from

Modahl, M., & Meinke, S. (2015). Telehealth index: 2015 physician survey. American Well. Retrieved from

Moubarak, G., Guiot, A., Benhamou, Y., Benhamou, A., & Hariri, S. (2011). Facebook activity of residents and fellows and its impact on the doctor-patient relationship. Journal of Medical Ethics, 37(2), 101-104. doi:10.1136/jme.2010.036293

Nabi, R. L., Prestin, A., & So, J. (2013). Facebook friends with (health) benefits? Exploring social network site use and perceptions of social support, stress, and well-being. Cyberpsychology, Behavior and Social Networking, 16(10), 721-727. doi:10.1089/cyber.2012.0521

Neville, R. G., Marsden, W., McCowan, C., Pagliari, C., Mullen, H., & Fannin, A. (2004). A survey of GP attitudes to and experiences of email consultations. Informatics in Primary Care, 12(4), 201-206. Retrieved from

Pai, A. (2014). Survey: Patients prefer doctors who offer email communication. Retrieved from

Perrin, A., & Duggan, M. (2015). Americans’ Internet access: 2000-2015. As Internet use nears saturation for some groups, a look at patterns of adoption. Washington, DC: Pew Research Center. Retrieved from

Pew Research Center. (2015). Health fact sheet. Retrieved from
Pillow, M. T., Hopson, L., Bond, M., Cabrera, D., Patterson, L.,

Pearson, D., . . . Takenaka, K. (2014). Social media guidelines and best practices: Recommendations from the council of residency directors social media task force. The Western Journal of Emergency Medicine, 15(1), 26-30. doi:10.5811/westjem.2013.7.14945

Rainie, L., & Zickuhr, K. (2010). Video calling and video chat. Washington, DC: Pew Research Center. Retrieved from

Russell, R. L. (1994). Preparing veterinary students with the interactive skills to effectively work with clients and staff. Journal of Veterinary Medical Education, 21(1), 40-43.

Shields, A. (2014). Catalyst Healthcare Research finds that nine out of ten (93%) adults want email communication with their doctor. Retrieved from

Singh, H., Fox, S. A., Petersen, N. J., Shethia, A., & Street, R. L. Jr. (2009). Older patients' enthusiasm to use electronic mail to communicate with their physicians: Cross-sectional survey. Journal of Medical Internet Research, 11(2), e18-e18. doi:10.2196/jmir.1143

Smith, A. (2015). U.S. smartphone use in 2015. Chapter three: A “week in the life” analysis of smartphone users. Retrieved from

Song, J. (2014). Should physicians friend or unfriend social media? ‘It’s complicated’. Retrieved from
Special Committee on Ethics and Professionalism. (2014). Model policy guidelines for the appropriate use of social media and social networking in medical practice. Federation of State Medical Boards. Retrieved from

Tassava, B. (2011). Social media marketing: Long-term implications. Veterinary Technician Proceedings of the North American Veterinary Conference, Orlando, Florida, USA, 15-19 January 2011, 301-301. Retrieved from;

Weitzman, E. R., Cole, E., Kaci, L., & Mandl, K. D. (2011). Social but safe? Quality and safety of diabetes-related online social networks. Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association: JAMIA, 18(3), 292-297. doi:10.1136/jamia.2010.009712

Wilson, R. E., Gosling, S. D., & Graham, L. T. (2012). A review of Facebook research in the social sciences. Perspectives on Psychological Science, 7(3), 203-220.