In case you didn’t know, the PDSA’s 2018 PAW report has just been published. The key point that was apparent throughout the document was how poorly informed many of the UK’s pet owners are. This is abundantly clear in the dearth of knowledge about the Animal Welfare Act (25% had apparently never heard of it, and poor knowledge of this legislation strongly correlates with poor provision of preventative healthcare; and only 13% could correctly identify all 5 Welfare Needs). It is also clear that with pet obesity a growing problem (in every sense!) there is a genuine crisis in pet owner education. Increasingly, we’re dealing with an online, highly connected client base, for whom telephoning or visiting their vet is not their preferred method of seeking information.
Anyone who follows the technical or marketing press will know that, in January, Facebook made some dramatic changes to their newsfeed algorithm. This was described in no uncertain terms as being “catastrophic” and a “disaster” for publishers and businesses, with one blogger coining my favourite neologism of the year the “Algopocalypse”. Now that all the dust has settled, this blog is going to look at the changes, and assess the impact they’ve had on the wider online publishing industry, and on us at VetHelpDirect.
OK, I know I said I wouldn’t write another one… but we’re really worried about how much confusion there is among vets about the GDPR. Unfortunately, there is some misleading and even factually inaccurate information being published in the veterinary press which could cause commercial problems for practices, frustration to clients and even, potentially, animal welfare issues. In particular, we’re worried about the idea that seems to have taken hold to the effect that you always need to get consent to email your existing client base.
I’m really (really!) hoping this will be my last blog on the GDPR for a while… Once we hit 25th May, although of course the ongoing burden of monitoring and maintaining compliance and implementing Privacy Impact Assessments will remain, I intend to take a nice long break from the subject! However, there is one absolutely vital facet we need to remember. For those of us who have spent however long up to our eyeballs in this stuff, it’s easy to forget that for most of our colleagues, it’s just a set of initials. Unfortunately, in the eyes of the law, this is not sufficient!
Hopefully everyone’s well on the way to being compliant with the new GDPR - remember, it kicks in on 25th May, so not much time now! However, there are two important areas we haven’t covered yet. The first is how we deal with the huge pile of paperwork that is required to prove that we are “accountable” and “compliant” - that’s what we’re going to look at here. The second we’ll look at in a week or so, and that’s Staff Training.
There are three vital sets of documents that you’ll need if you are going to be compliant with the new law. These are:
We're getting a lot of queries about emailing clients, and how this will change under the GDPR. So, in this blog, we're going to look at the legal aspects of marketing emails, as they apply to veterinary practices (although this is general advice that would apply to many other sectors).
Sending an email is defined as a data processing activity, but it is also important to remember that segmenting email lists (e.g. into dog and cat clients to send them different marketing materials or information) is also a form of processing, and one that you might have to justify.
We’ve been helping a couple of our practices deal with some negative reviews recently. In fact, a recent article in the Vet Times suggested that 72% of vets are worried about the impact of negative reviews - as a profession, we seem to have decided that negative reviews are A Bad Thing.
While that’s true to an extent - and obviously, if every review you’re getting is poor that is a cause for concern - negative reviews and feedback can actually be really valuable for a practice. In this blog, we’re going to look at why people leave negative reviews, why they can be valuable to a practice, and finally how best to respond to them.
Another month, and another GDPR blog… sorry! However, we’re getting increasing numbers of calls from practices asking us about Privacy Notices on their websites. This is a REALLY important part of the new Data Protection landscape, and it’s an easy one for you as a practice to be pulled up on - anyone can tell whether or not you’re compliant after a few minutes browsing your website! Fortunately, though, it’s also an easy one to fix… So in this blog, we’re going to take a quick look at Privacy Notices and give you some pointers on how to get these vital but irritating documents ready.
As many of you will know the Best UK Vet awards are based on genuine client reviews; we know good reviews are vitally important for a practice’s reputation, which is why this is our sixth year of sponsoring the awards. Pet owners are encouraged to leave reviews on VetHelpDirect.com and Any-UK-Vet.co.uk, using a star system to rank the practice (one star for abysmal and five for excellent), plus any comments. We then total all of the four and five star reviews for participating practices, from the past 12 months, to find our winners.
Winners receive publicity from us, through our Facebook pages, blogs and press releases, as well as their own marketing packs to promote the win themselves. We also provide a certificate, trophy, banner, an awards ceremony and a party budget to allow them to thank all of their staff.
The 2018 results are finally in….and….the winners are…