In the latest step along Defra’s road to becoming Digital by Default, we’re pleased to announce that the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) has launched Private Beta for VICTOR, a brand new digital service for Vets.
VICTOR stands for Veterinary Investigation Centre Tests and Online Results. That’s a long way of saying that VICTOR presents Vets with a new way to send animal sample data into APHA and request laboratory tests. This means that Vets in England and Wales will be able to send, receive and track their animal disease testing information direct from the office or while out in the field using their mobile or tablet.
The new Service will eventually replace the existing paper-based process of sending in sample data and receiving results. In addition to helping Vets this will mean that APHA continues to receive useful surveillance information, and having a new Digital channel will help to enhance APHA’s engagement with the wider Veterinary profession.
What is VICTOR?
The VICTOR Service handles laboratory testing submissions that are presently sent into APHA by post.
Although VICTOR is a brand new digital Service it is based upon the existing paper-based system of submitting samples in to APHA. We’ve taken the things that work from the old paper system and designed and built VICTOR from the ground up to be easier, simpler, and quicker to use. It will give customers more information, choice and flexibility when it comes to submitting samples for testing and getting the results back.
Alongside the brand new web based portal that Vets will use to register submission and sample information, we’ve completely revamped the internal system we use to record, triage and release results back to Vets. This means that APHA Laboratories are able to provide a more efficient Service and respond to submissions much more quickly.
VICTOR Private Beta
Private Beta is another term for limited field testing. We are asking a small number of Veterinary Practices to use the Service ahead of it being rolled out to all of our Veterinary customers during a later Public Beta phase. During Private Beta, we’ll be responding to feedback and fixing bugs that may not have come to light during internal tests.
The main purpose of Private Beta is to generate feedback from our customers. We want to understand how they are using the Service and hear about their experiences. We’ll also be looking at various data and analysis in the background to see how VICTOR performs.
We can’t guarantee that we will be able to act upon every single piece of feedback, but we will address anything that is stopping Vets from being able to send and receive the test information they need.
So what does VICTOR Do?
Each Veterinary Practice brought onto VICTOR will be set up with a unique online Admin Account. That Practice can then add or subtract further Accounts linked specifically to the main Admin Account. Once you have an Account you will be able to:
- Create new submissions for sick or healthy animals.
- Search available tests or use a Test Advisor function to select specific tests.
- Select where to send samples for testing – customers can chose to send samples direct to the testing laboratories or continue to send all samples to their hub laboratory.
- Print address labels and dispatch notes to accompany samples.
- Track submissions and check if samples have arrived, testing is progressing, results are available, and when all tests are complete.
- View test results for submissions.
- Receive email notifications when samples fail to arrive at the testing laboratory.
- Receive email notifications when results are available to view.
- The Practice Admin user will be able to manage other Practice users, setting up each with an individual secure login. The Admin user email address for login is the practice email address that all notification emails will be sent to.
- If we make any significant changes to the Service in Private Beta we will ensure that all registered Private Beta users are made aware of these.
What’s next for VICTOR?
We’re really excited about VICTOR because we think it’s going to give Vets many more options when it comes to selecting tests, sending samples and receiving the results of animal tests. We also believe it’s going to make it quicker to get important test results back to Vets.
Once we have successfully concluded a limited period of Private Beta and learned about how Vets are using VICTOR, we will launch Public Beta, when all APHA Veterinary customers will be able to use the Service for diagnostic and monitoring testing.
During Public Beta, we’ll still be gathering and responding to feedback, but by this time, even more functionality will be in place. After a limited period of Public Beta, we will move the Service into Live.
Watch this space.