Early 2020 Updates and Important Information

Now That Most Of the Reporting Is Done..

December and January are two of the busiest months for WRMD. Reporting takes its toll on everybody. We  work really hard to make sure that everybody’s reports are functioning correctly and that giant reports are not crashing our servers, which has happened a few times. Every year or two we have to upgrade our servers to handle all of the activity that happens this time of year, and we  will be upgrading again soon. Thank you for your patience. 

NWRA Symposium

WRMD will be attending the NWRA Symposium this year in South Padre Island, Texas – Feb 25-29. If you are also attending we would love to meet you! Bring any and all questions, concerns, comments and feedback to us, or just come by and say hi.  We will also be presenting on Thursday morning from 8:30-9:30AM and hope to see you there!

We are especially looking for feedback for our proposed new Husbandry extension. If you have been waiting patiently for this extension please come and chat with us. We are looking for suggestions and advice on recording husbandry information.

Analytics

Devin, our developer, has been working extra hard to improve the Analytics section of WRMD. We want our users to be able to view their data in whatever way they need. All I can say is that what he is creating is absolutely beautiful! Seriously, the graphs are like artwork and the information they provide is invaluable. Devin  is doing everything he can to get it done so he can unveil it during our presentation at the NWRA symposium (fingers crossed). Things to look forward to!

M-Opinion & the Migratory Bird Treaty Act

The Migratory Bird Treaty Act is under attack and birds need you to speak for them. The language within this 100+ year old treaty has been scrutinized and recently a new proposed regulation change is underway. The M-Opinion  proposes to redefine the meaning of the “incidental take”. The change effectively allows anybody who “accidentally” destroys, kills, or harms any MBTA protected bird, nest or egg to do so with no penalty. An example of this would be an oil spill where birds are not intentionally harmed. Currently, oil spillers have to pay a price for this. The M-Opinion would make it so they could get off scot-free. The same would be true of a tree-trimming company did not intend to wipe out an entire colony of herons and their nests. They may now experience no repercussions. On a smaller level, we may no longer be able to tell the public that removing a nest that has baby birds in it is illegal. We all know how devastating this could be to all MBTA protected birds. USFW has finally opened this up for public comment and we need to comment this until they have no more space on their server to hold all the comments. Spread this far and wide. We only have until March 19, 2020. Let’s do everything we can to stop this change. https://www.regulations.gov/document

A Great Question From a User

This is from a new user and it inspired me to write this blog:

“I have just one more question as well. I am using the program for our intakes only. We are a larger facility and still growing and the rehabilitation staff have a paperwork system that works really well for them as far as exams, feedings, vet visits etc. Does utilizing your system just for what we need hurt us in anyway? I was not sure if I just used it for intakes and out comes and used our paper system for the rehab side of things if that would be an issue in anyway.”

Here is our response: 

We designed WRMD so that it could be used any way you want and need. Most wildlife rehabilitation organizations that have existed for 10 years or more started with paper records, which is completely fine. However, one of the big reasons we developed WRMD was to create a tool that can save institutional knowledge in a useful, easy-to-search format. When we ask, “What medication did we give that patient 5 years ago that worked, because we now have a similar situation?”, we can easily and quickly find the answer in WRMD. With paper you really can’t do that. So much information is lost on paperwork. On the flip side I do think that it can work great for many tasks such as husbandry charts or prescription forms that can be written on and checked off. WRMD provides many paper forms within our “Paper Form” extension that, when used, translate nicely into the digital format of WRMD. 

We have found that the normal progression of our WRMD users is to start small. Many rehabilitators just add in their intakes and dispositions to get the reports and basic stats they need. Once they get used to using WRMD and can navigate more easily, they slowly start to incorporate its’ other features. Features like the Prescriptions extension can automatically calculate the dose your patient from the last recorded weight once you add information into your Prescription Formulary. In order to do that you need to use Locations and record in weights. If you use the Rechecks feature, a daily calendar is automatically generated for you on a daily basis, but you have to add in these rechecks.  All these little features help save you time that could be used on animal care instead of paperwork and calendars.. How you use WRMD is up to you. We support you, whatever way you decide to use WRMD. Our first priority is to make things easy for our users, and everything else comes later.

– Rachel Avilla

Hope to See you at the NWRA Symposium!

WRMD will again have a booth at the NWRA symposium. This year it is in Anaheim/Orange, CA, in our home state!!! Please come and visit us, we love to meet our users and put a name to the face. We may even ask to take a photo with your name tag so we can remember the face that belongs to the name.

We will also have a presentation on Friday, March 2 at 8AM. We will talk about some of the projects we have been working on and we are going to reveal some exciting new features and extension that have just been developed!

Come and find us! We look forward to seeing everybody!

Another Successful NWRA Symposium

Screen Shot 2016-03-16 at 6.04.36 PMCongratulations to NWRA on putting on a huge successful symposium. It never ceases to amaze me how much work, time and effort goes into these symposiums. So, thank you NWRA for a job well done!

At first when NWRA mentioned Norman, Oklahoma for the symposium I was like, really? Where on earth is that? To my surprise by the end of the week it seemed like a perfect place.

Thanks to my co-exhibitor Marie Travers who manned the both with me, I was allowed to escape for a few hours… Sooo, I visited Wildcare Foundation, who just happen to use WRMD,  and I was in complete awe of their facility and their staff. Rondi Large, the founder reminded me so much of the few amazing pioneers out there that started something from scratch, in their home and have dedicated their entire life to the cause. It takes a strong person, supportive staff/volunteers and community to last over 30 years IMG_1843(with tornados!) with a large, full on center running out of their home. My deepest respect to that wonderful organization for the work they do and, if you were at the symposium the stunning singing and acting talent displayed by their staff!!! (You had to be there)

While at our exhibitor table we had the opportunity to talk to many rehabilitators. Several already used WRMD and I finally got to meet them face to face. A few that I have been communicating with regularly and I was so happy to finally put a face to the names. I also met several who had heard of WRMD and wanted to talk about switching over and were very happy to sit down and talk about it a little more. Last but not least are those who have never heard of us and when I give my little intro, they are like “You do what! and it’s free!” and then of course “Why do you do this, for free!?” with a hidden under the breath “what is wrong with them…” As I tell them in some explanation similar to the statement below.

“We are wildlife rehabilitators, too. We do this because we care, and this is how we contribute to the cause. What wildlife rehabilitators do is so important and our community does not get enough recognition for the sacrifices we all make. We are here as support for all wildlife rehabilitators, so that our collective knowledge is recorded and not lost on the dead trees we write it on. And yes, we are a little crazy as well…”

wr_CORA_10-2522_aviary_set-up_003We are only here to help, we have no personal gains in what we do other then the knowledge that we can support one of the most compassionate, humble, dedicated group of people who can talk about intestinal parasites and poop at the dinner table without a seconds hesitation. We are all in this together and we all need to support one another for our mutual cause, no matter our histories. We do it for them, and should strive to do it the absolute best way we can by constantly learning and sharing new knowledge of better techniques, diets,  husbandry,  cage design, medical procedures, etc. We can not do it how we always have done it, because what if this new way is better from them. That is what symposiums do for us, they connect us so that we can share our knowledge and experiences. WRMD’s Mission “Sharing our experience to save more lives” It’s that simply put. It is for them, the helpless, speechless and vulnerable lives that share our world because, we all know there is no other reason we would do it…

-Rachel Avilla
Wildlife Rehabilitation MD Founder

March Update: Analytics and NWRA

Thank you again for your patience. I know that there are some features that are being highly anticipated and we are doing everything we can to
get them out.

After today, the Analytics section will be up and running again. We have put in a few graphs to start, basically the most asked for ones. So, go check them out.

Analytics

Screen Shot 2016-03-07 at 2.40.59 PM

  • There are multiple tabs available to Browse as you can see in the Overview snapshot.
    • Within the Overview section you can see the Total Patients per Day by Class
    • Top 10 Species that came in
    • Top 10 Cities patients come from
  • You will also notice near the top of the page the option to select the Date Admitted. Here you can choose your range, but you have to click Apply for it to be able to work. (IMPORTANT: Due to this addition of Apply, when you do searches there is now an Apply button as well.)

 

  • The next tab is the Species Overview Screen Shot 2016-03-07 at 2.41.20 PM
    • Patients by Taxonomic Class
    • Patients by Taxonomic Group, we cheated on this one a little and it is really by lay group, we call it…

 

  • The next tab is the Disposition OverviewScreen Shot 2016-03-07 at 2.41.31 PM
    • Disposition Percentages
    • Survival Rates

 

This is just the beginning and if you have an ideas for more brilliant analytics please let us know. Please email me at [email protected].

 

We also, finally added back the graph weights which I apologize personally to all the squirrel parents out there for not getting that up sooner, but it is now operational and can be found at the top of the Treatment Log area.

Screen Shot 2016-03-07 at 2.39.30 PM

 

NWRA:

I have a table at NWRA and if you are going to be there, please stop by and say Hi! Expect to get a picture taken with your name tag so that I can try to start identifying all the lovely users I spend so much time communicating with. Marie Travers who works with us and the AWESOME group Bird Ally X will be my backup when I am not at the table. We will have our WRMD shirts available when any donation over $30 is made to WRMD.

2015 NWRA Symposium

Screen Shot 2015-03-19 at 7.53.44 AMNew Jersey is a long way from home for the WRMD team, but we felt right at home at the 2015 NWRA symposium. It is such a wonderful experience to meet the people that we have been communicating with for years. It never ceases to amaze us just what a wonderful group of people wildlife rehabilitators are, we are unique in our self-less profession of intense caring. Being surround by like minded people reminds us that we are not alone. There are thousands of other people out there just like you, trying to make a difference in the world.

IMG_0467Every year we try and have a vendor booth so that we can talk to people one on one about how they are recording their records now and what their plans are for the future. We want to be as available as possible to the rehab community. We want to help rehabilitators streamline their data collection so that it is not a burden, but a tremendous asset. If we can collect data and discover trends, our community can become a powerful voice for protection and conservation of the environment. After all, if we can’t protect animals outside of our facilities, why are we caring for them inside the facilities? It is a difficult question, but a necessary one.

IMG_0472In the nature of sharing and corroboration, it doesn’t matter which system people choose, as long as they are using one that works best for them . Together we can unite and see the bigger picture. In order to do this, we need everybody’s help. Transition is not easy, but wildlife rehabilitation has to evolve along with the world around us and our personal goal is to make that transition as painless as possible.

IWRC 2014 Recap

We had a blast at the 2014 International Wildlife Rehabilitation Council Symposium in Cincinnati, Ohio this past weekend. We would like to compliment IWRC on their smooth and easy registration, amazing banquet food, choice of hotel and overall positive atmosphere. The best part of the weekend was getting to know so many new people. It is a joy to meet new people and introduce them to Wildlife Rehabilitation MD. We also had the honor to meet some of our current users and discuss with them how they used WRMD and their thoughts on the program. I am happy to announce that almost everybody we meet that uses WRMD says “I love it”. We hope this is the case for all users. We are requesting testimonials from all our users that we can post on our website and blog. We would be delighted to add anybody’s testimonial to our collection.  You can email them to [email protected]Rachel Avilla and Cathy Wolfe

I think what makes WRMD so different is that we actively interact with as much of the rehab community as we can. We love learning how other people do stuff and we share our own experiences in the process. Some of our new friends at IWRC had some very poignant questions for us, that we actually get all the time. I thought I might address these common questions about, our organization The Wild Neighbors Database Project.

“What is The Wild Neighbors Database Project and how is it related to Wildlife Rehabilitation MD?”

The Wild Neighbors Database Project is our 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. We saw potential for more than just one project so The Wild Neighbors Database Project was created and our first project was Wildlife Rehabilitation MD “WRMD”. We in the planning phases of 2 other projects to be developed in the future.

Logo for The Wild Neighbors Database Project logo-500x500

“How much does WRMD cost?”

It is a free service. We can not charge wildlife rehabilitators for this service. That money should go to animal care or wildlife rehabilitator income.

“How do you afford to keep it going then?”

We mostly rely on generous donations from our users, but also will receive some money from grants that we are working on. If you are willing to make an end of the year gift to The Wild Neighbors Database Project we would gladly accept it. There is a Donate button on our homepage for our PayPal account or we accept checks mailed to us at The Wild Neighbors Database Project 3800 Vista Oaks Dr., Martinez, CA 94553.

“Why are you doing this and what do you get out of it?”

We do this because we want to help wildlife rehabilitators by giving them an intuitive and user friendly tool to collect incredibly valuable data about what our profession does. There is so much data that has not been collected or recorded. That knowledge is disappearing as our previous generation retires and passes away. They are the founders of our professional field and we should not have to reinvent the wheel for that which has already been done,  just add to it as our knowledge grows. We saw a need, that we were skilled for, and we decided to dedicate our lives to filling that need. We are wildlife rehabilitators, we do what we do because we care, that is what makes our profession so special. We actually care for more than ourselves or our lively hoods or the human race, we care for the planet and her innocent inhabitants that have no voice.

“Are you crazy?”

Yes, probably, aren’t we all.

Thank you,
Rachel Avilla
Co-founder of The Wild Neighbors Database Project/Customer Care WRMD

Notes from CCWR 2014

WRMD Booth at CCWR 2014We would like to thank everybody who attended our WRMD workshop at theCCWR 2014, California Council for Wildlife Rehabilitators Symposium. Databases are not a real exciting topic, but I think we made it as interactive as we could. At this point, WRMD is well known in California and we no longer need to tell people what it about and how to use it. This workshop was used to bounce ideas off our community. We get many ideas and suggestions throughout the year from all over the world. The ideas that we think are worth exploring are taken to you. We don’t want to make any big changes unless we have some approval from our users.

Proposed Changes

Here are some of the proposals and suggestions that came out of our workshop at CCWR 2014. We plan on having similar discussions at IWRC and NWRA. We are interested in attending other state-wide organization gatherings, if anybody is are interested in having us, let us know.

  • Create a way to limit required fields, allow for organizations to choose their own required fields.
  • Have some confirmation after a new case# is created.
  • Create a way to select “unknown” in the admissions area for unknown information.
  • We need to clarify, rescuer’s observation, nature of injury and diagnosis. We want to incorporate standard terminology for the circumstances of admission. For example, most animals that come to a wildlife rehabilitator have similar issues. These animals are cat caught, dog caught, hit window, hit car, orphaned, kidnapped, electrocuted, rodenticide poisoning,  disease, etc. This list is pretty well establish, but everybody uses slightly different terms. We want change the name “Rescuer’s Observations” to “Reason for Admission”. The field will autocomplete, so when you type in “ca” cat caught will automatically populate and can be selected. You can also type in other observations as well. The autocompleted phrases will then populate to the Identity Box that appears on all tabs as “Circumstances of Admission”. What we also need to figure out is the exact meaning of “Nature of Injury” and we need to add some form of “Diagnosis” to the intake section.
  • We have discovered that Holding at, Enclosure and Homecare are all talking about the same thing, “where is that animal located?”. So, we propose a new section called “Location”. Within this new box we will include “Date”, “Location/Area”, “Enclosure” and “Enclosure History”. The date is the date that the animal moved. Location/Area is a general location and would include either a volunteers name such as “Do, Jane” so that you know who has it, or it could be an area or room of the facility. For example the area could be aviaries, mammal pens, exam room, icu, baby bird room, Ward A, or however a facility is organized. This will allow for reports to be printed for specific areas. Then there is the actual Enclosure number or name, such as Bird Cage 1 or Mammal Cage 2 or whatever names are used for enclosures. Lastly there will be an Enclosure History which will include all past enclosures and the current enclosure at the top of the list. When you fill out the new enclosure information it will automatically add the new enclosure to the top of the list. We also plan to add “days in enclosure” in this section. We plan to have very strong searching ability in this section.
  • Flag records. This is a very common suggestion, but we need to know what needs to be flagged and how it should be presented.
  • Ability to export any report into a Word or Excel file.
  • Add donation amount and have a better donor report system.
  • Add in more domestic species.
  • Being able to select records you want to batch update.
  • Have access to approximate age of animal and a more visible, days in care.
  • Change Euthanized +24hrs to Euthanize after 24hrs.

Thank you again for your thoughts and suggestions. If anybody has comments regarding these potential new changes feel free to email me at [email protected]orsdp.org.

See You at CCWR 2014 this Weekend!

Wildlife Rehabilitation MD Workshop at CCWR 2014

Tomorrow (Friday, Nov 7) will be be hosting a WRMD Workshop at 3:30 at the 20th Annual CCWR Symposium at the beautiful Squaw Creek Resort in Olympic Valley, North Lake Tahoe. We’ll be sharing with you what we have been up to for the past year and all the progress that WRMD has had. We also want to discuss some proposed changes and get your feedback and thoughts about some of the ideas being floated around.

This workshop is all about you and your ideas. We have received some very helpful feedback over the year and we want to discuss those ideas with the group to get a larger consensus on them. We will also have some time to answer your questions and demo some of the features of WRMD that you may not have known about. Bring your laptop or tablet so that you can follow along with us.

We will also have a booth in the exhibitors hall, so please come and visit with us if you are not able to attend our workshop. We’ll be there all weekend to meet with you and answer your questions.