AAHA guidelines address canine and feline diabetes, diagnostic terms

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Jul 01, 2010

Lakewood, Colo. — Two new guides, one listing standardized diagnostic terms for veterinary medicine and another on canine and feline diabetes management, now are available from the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA).

AAHA spent seven years developing the AAHA Diagnostic Terms to the Systematized Nomenclature of Medicine — Clinical Terms® (SNOMED-CT®) with the Veterinary Terminology Services Laboratory. The computerized collections of medical terminology now is available under reciprocal open-source licenses, without fees or royalties, according to AAHA.

The diagnostic guide was developed in recognition of the need to exchange clinical information between healthcare providers and researchers in a consistent fashion. The new system offers a new way to encode and store medical data so that comparison across fields of study or practices can be done without confusion.

"Creating and utilizing common veterinary medical terminology enables us to collect clinical medical metrics, which has been nearly impossible until now. Analyzing these metrics will lead to increased knowledge of disease prevalence," says Michael Cavanaugh, DVM, Dipl. ABVP, AAHA's executive director.

To access the AAHA Diagnostic Terms, users must apply for a free International Affiliate Number or a Unified Medical Language System (UMLS) number from the National Institute of Medicine. Access links to these sites and AAHA Diagnostic Terms can be found at http://aahanet.org/resources/guidelines.aspx.

The AAHA Diabetes Management Guidelines for Dogs and Cats also is available at that Web address and provides current recommendations for diagnosing, managing and treating feline and canine diabetes mellitus. Among the topics covered in the guide, compiled with the help of a grant from Intervet/Schering-Plough Animal Health, are diagnostic criteria and initial assessment; initial treatment and monitoring; recommended diagnostic testing; diet therapy goals and management; ongoing home monitoring; troubleshooting; and Web links for staff and client education.