AN initiative begun in 1994 was the catalyst for the development of a management tool to harness the wealth of valuable information locked away in the databases of practice computer systems, in order to measure and monitor health status and responsible pet ownership and, by so doing, help shape the future direction of individual practices. This initiative has become known as the ‘Fort Dodge Index’ and, in this article, David Cormack explains how it originated. Some of the trends and findings that the index has revealed will be discussed in a later article.
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