In today’s technology driven world, there is a constant need to communicate across a range of services. With VetXML, electronic dialogues between practice and supplier have been standardised for easier communications in the future.
Aided by the Society for Practising Veterinary Surgeons (SPVS) and chaired by Nick Lloyd, the VetXML Consortium was established in 2006 as an industry body dedicated to the development and specification of a universal data format. The Consortium is leading the way in the veterinary world in its standardisation of digital information transfer amongst the profession.
Members of the Consortium span the industry; from veterinary practitioners, practice management vendors, and technology and financial services, to insurance, laboratory, microchipping and pet nutrition businesses. The Consortium has also attracted interest from veterinary associations, government bodies, US organisations and pharmaceutical companies.
The primary objective of the Consortium is to improve the sharing of data through the development of an industry standard data format, in order to maximise the service provided by the veterinary profession.
VetXML enables the straightforward exchange of information between disparate IT systems within the profession; that is, between practice management systems and industry suppliers. It is this commitment to developing a universal language for the profession that enables the VetXML Consortium to continue to inspire interest and unite the veterinary industry.
XML – Extensible Markup Language – is defined by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) as “a software – and hardware – independent tool for carrying information”.
Its primary purpose is to structure, store and transfer information in order to allow the sharing of information between disparate computer systems and databases over the Internet.
As a markup language, XML defines a set of rules (schema) for encoding arbitrary information into a plain text format that can be read by any system. Data is therefore not restricted to or by software and hardware, but is transferable amongst various differing applications.
Once a schema has been agreed, all interested parties that implement that schema can share data knowing that they can understand the information when received, this is where VetXML comes in.
VetXML is an agreed set of XML data standards used in veterinary software to facilitate the sending and receiving of information within the industry.
External companies – such as laboratories, insurance or wholesalers – can send and receive information to any Practice Management System (PMS) that implements a VetXML schema. This, in turn, keeps costs for PMS providers and external companies down as only one method of encoding data is required.
Further, where both PMS developers and external companies are involved in agreeing the schemas, it is more beneficial for all parties for the control of the schema to be the responsibility of a neutral third-party (VetXML).
Established in 2006 by Managing Director Mike Fletcher, LiveTime 24/7 Ltd now owned by Allianz Insurance developed the enabling data delivery platform for VetXML – VetEnvoy – a communications hub that makes it easier to securely deliver data and manage workflow processes in the veterinary profession.
eClaims was the first VetEnvoy service, which enabled the secure, seamless and paperless transfer of insurance claims from a practice to the insurance company. To date, over one-third of a million eClaims have been securely and reliably sent.
Since its introduction, several additional services have been developed that deliver seamless data transfer:
In partnership with SPVS, VetEnvoy co-founded the VetXML Consortium. By working closely with SPVS and the industry itself, VetEnvoy aided the development of VetXML as a common communication standard. Together, VetXML and VetEnvoy’s solution to data sharing can be likened to an electronic version of the postal service. VetXML is the standard packaging in which data is sent and VetEnvoy is the standard courier that ensures the package is delivered. The combined use of standard package with standard courier, therefore, makes it simple for practices and suppliers (with compliant systems) to exchange data quickly and securely.
For more information about VetEnvoy and to register your interest, visit www.vetenvoy.com
Mobile users can download the full member compliance PDF here.