Modeling Decision Processes in Veterinary Healthcare
World Small Animal Veterinary Association World Congress Proceedings, 2003
Lloyd Reeve-Johnson, DVM&S, CertBA, PhD, DECVPT, FIbiol, FRCVS
Petdoctors Ltd.
Chandlers Ford, Hampshire, UK


To produce a model of the sequence of veterinary healthcare decisions to better understand the interplay between each participant (patient/client/clinician/innovator/regulator/dispenser) and understand how this process can be influenced.


Information was sourced from our practice database of over 250,000 veterinary healthcare transactions annually in 22 clinics utilizing the major animal health suppliers in our market, insurance companies, 50 primary-care veterinary clinicians and referral specialists, surveys of owners and para-veterinary professionals and personal interviews with researchers and managers in Animal Health and Veterinary Wholesale companies.


Six types of participant were identified as active in any healthcare process. Namely: patient/owners, payers, influencers, innovators, regulators and dispensers. Each of these perceived the value of healthcare services differently. The core activity around which all the participants revolved was the decision to seek treatment for either a real or perceived illness, or to promote health. Without this action, nothing else would occur. The process was broken into component parts (identifying a need, seeking treatment, diagnosis, establishing a treatment plan, supply of product or service and re-evaluation, where lifestyle and funding heavily influenced overall compliance with the regime). This occurs in all markets.


Provision of healthcare is fundamentally a transaction and is the mechanism by which the participants in healthcare interact and rationalize their perspectives of value into a common economic exchange. Points of influence can be used to alter the type of healthcare intervention utilized by the market. From a strategic planning perspective, these can be used to target market niches where adoption would be most rapid for new products.


1.  Reeve-Johnson, L. (2002) Quantifying and maximizing the value of innovation in the pharmaceutical industry (MBA thesis-under review). Edinburgh Business School.

Speaker Information
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Lloyd Reeve-Johnson, DVM&S, CertBA, PhD, DECVPT, FIbiol, FRCVS
Petdoctors Ltd.
Chandlers Ford, Hampshire, UK

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