A world-first cardiology clinical audit which looked at the outcomes of minimally-invasive surgical procedures in dogs has been hailed a success.

The study was set up by Paragon Veterinary Referrals’ head of cardiology, Chris Linney and colleagues, to review treatment for patent ductus arteriosus, a treatable, curable condition which may cause up to 50 per cent of dogs to die in their first year of life if left unchecked.  

The audit, set up while Chris worked at fellow Linnaeus hospital Willows Veterinary Centre and Referral Service, was carried out in some of the busiest, most experienced veterinary centres in the UK, and systematically assessed patient outcomes to assess and benchmark them against previous industry standards. 

It concluded that the process of performing a clinical audit in veterinary clinical interventions across different centres is achievable, and has since been published in The Journal of Veterinary Cardiology.

Chris, an RCVS and EBVS specialist in cardiology at Linnaeus-owned Paragon, said: “This published multicentre prospective clinical audit was a first of its kind in the cardiology world. 

“This type of audit acts as a quality control to improve patient outcomes through systematic review of care, comparing to predefined criteria and then implementing change, and so the process repeats. 

“The Linnaeus cardiology services are collectively one of the most experienced groups in the UK, Europe and the wider world and reviewing delivery of patient outcomes is essential for elevating patient care.

“Improving patient outcomes and benchmarking against existing standards is essential for elevating patient outcomes. In the centres in this study, we are already delivering excellent patient outcomes but with room for improvements, however small, this audit will help future patients but also colleagues across the cardiology world.” 

Centres collaborating on the study were Willows Veterinary Centre and Referral Service; Anicura Oslo Animal Hospital; Heart Vets; Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies and the Roslin Institute, University of Edinburgh; University Hospital of Companion Animals, Copenhagen and Veterinary Cardiology Consultancy.

Other clinicians taking part included Brigite Pedro, Mike Martin and João Neves, formerly of Willows, along with Jo Harris and Dave Dickson, of HeartVets, working with fellow Linnaeus practice Cave Veterinary Specialists.

For more information on Paragon Veterinary Referrals, visit www.paragonreferrals.co.uk or search for Paragon Veterinary Referrals on social media. 

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