| Response From Chief Veterinarian Suzan Murray About Changes to Veterinary Notes |
"Medarks, the name of the system, was not designed as a legal document, but rather as a user-friendly way of maintaining and sharing important information. As such, one of the most facile modules is the 'clinical notes' section, which prompts the user to 'Add/Edit clinical notes.' Clinical notes on all animals - particularly those originally written by a student, those worked on by multiple veterinarians, those regarding animals that are scheduled to be shipped out to another institution, or those records that would be read by an outside institution -- are routinely edited for content, style, accuracy, and interpretation. Missing information is added days, weeks, months and sometimes even years after the original date of entry -- depending upon when the missing information was noted. It is our understanding that this is true at some other zoos as well.
"This is true not only of the department of animal health, but also for the department of pathology, which reviews and edits all records before releasing them to other zoos or institutions.
"Although we try to be thorough and complete, it is simply not possible for us to document every conversation and every observation - instead, an attempt is made to document, update, and edit those of the greatest medical importance."
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