Here are seven tips to help you get started and make the most of green sheets.
1. Make a list. Decide on 10 things you'd like evidence for.
2. Create your green sheets. Start tracking casework.
3. Follow the rule of 10. When introducing a new suture, medication or protocol, track 10 cases and assess the outcome. Expand the numbers as indicated. Make sure the new method is better than your current strategy.
4. Use it in your daily clinic life. Once you gather the data, personalize your recommendations to clients. You could say something like this: "We found in our practice that 19 of 20 dogs with yeast infections responded nicely to ketoconazole, but one of 20 developed liver problems, so we switched that patient to a different protocol." If you track issues for decades, you'll eventually have decades' worth of data and experience to benefit clients' pets.
5. Have fun with it. Green sheets will spice up daily clinical life for everyone. Staff members love using them—they will remember Sancho the hip case, Jacinto the cancer patient, Miles the hepatocutaneous case and James the chronic pancreatitis case.
6. Help identify issues. Using green sheets to gather data could help us encourage our veterinary organizations to work together to identity significant issues. With tens of thousands of practitioners and academics involved, surely thousands would participate in some of this data gathering and sharing.
7. Create an impact. If we all implemented green sheets, the impact on the profession and our patients would be vast, and we would all be more informed about our recommendations and patient outcomes.