The article below was written by Christine Fiorello, DVM, PhD, Dipl. ACZM of the Oiled Wildlife Care Network. Christine, along with her colleagues at the OWCN, have commissioned us to develop a version of WRMD (called OWRMD) that specifically meets the record keeping needs of wildlife affected by oil spills in California. Our project has been under development for over a year and we are already seeing some very exciting results! A HUGE thanks to Christine Fiorello, Mike Ziccardi and the entire OWCN staff for including us in the project!
Unlike my six-year-old, whose list to Santa is comprised mostly of toy weapons, my wishes for the New Year are less tangible. Less war, less poverty, less hunger, less deforestation, fewer emerging diseases, fewer extinctions, lower carbon emissions, no oil spills . . . . you get the idea. Given the current state of the world, it would probably take a miracle for any of those wishes to come true. But one miracle I am counting on is the promise of OWRMD!
Many, many years ago, Mike realized that an electronic medical record keeping system would be a huge boost to animal care during a spill response. After a LOT of work, angst, pain, blood, sweat, tears, and electronic device purchases, we are close to having a truly game-changing system in OWRMD, thanks to Devin Dombrowski and the Wild Neighbors Database Project (a non-profit that is already doing great work providing a free online medical records option for wildlife rehabilitators – follow the link to learn more or to donate).
OWRMD is a medical records database system that is purpose-built for the care of animals during an oil spill response, and it has been worth waiting for. OWRMD is not exactly the same as the WRMD that is currently used in dozens of rehabilitation centers, but it is closely related. Many operations will be the same, and if you are comfortable with WRMD, getting comfortable with OWRMD will be a snap. It’s intuitive and has a lovely interface design, so even those who are not used to electronic medical records will become accustomed to it in no time.
It’s not quite finished yet, but for those of you who already use WRMD, you can understand how great a tool OWRMD will be. In the coming months, look out for opportunities to learn more about OWRMD, such as participating in drills or specific training sessions. At first, OWRMD will be for birds only, but we will be integrating other species into it as we move forward.
This holiday season, be safe, be healthy, be happy . . . . and be thankful for whatever miracles come your way!