The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) utilizes a network of accredited veterinarians to help protect the nation’s livestock and animal populations. Known as foreign animal disease diagnosticians, or FADDs, many of these individuals are private practitioners who receive specialized training from the USDA on conducting foreign animal disease investigations. FADDs must follow strict protocols to ensure an accurate and rapid diagnosis, as well as to prevent the costly spread of disease. The Center for Educational Technologies was tasked with developing a field manual to assist veterinarians in conducting these outbreak investigations. Our challenge was to convert hundreds of pages of official USDA policy memoranda into one user-friendly field reference for veterinarians.
The Center for Educational Technologies worked closely with a large team of experts from across the United States Department of Agriculture to design and develop the Foreign Animal Disease Investigation Manual. The manual provides investigators with a comprehensive yet concise reference to help guide them in conducting a disease investigation. Printed on Yupo paper, a water-resistant plastic paper, this innovative manual can be washed and disinfected after each use. Images, flowcharts, and tables are used extensively throughout the manual to simplify complex procedures, while QR codes embedded on the pages allow users to watch videos explaining proper methods for collecting diagnostic samples on their mobile devices.
The Foreign Animal Disease Investigation Manual was released in 2013 and subsequently distributed to more than 1500 veterinarians in the U.S. and abroad. The manual, winner of the 2013 BioCommunications Association award, has proven very popular with foreign animal disease diagnosticians who find the visual format easy to use. In March 2015, the Center for Educational Technologies completed work on an updated and expanded second edition of the manual.