How DAR Communicates to Researchers
There are several standard means used by the DAR to communicate with our colleagues in research.
During normal business hours:
- Facsimile is used to communicate mortality reports, overcrowded rodent cage notices, and notifications that animal enclosures are missing bar codes.
- Telephone calls are used:
- By the husbandry staff to report that animals have been received. Other arrangements, such as email, can be made, if preferred.
- During normal business hours, by the veterinary staff to report sick animals and discuss case management options, although email is also used in a companion fashion. On weekends, evenings and holidays, the default procedure of the veterinary staff is to communicate using the emergency contact list in the IACUC protocol associated with the sick animals unless other arrangements have been made. The veterinary staff is willing and able to establish mechanisms for personal contact by all possible means, but this requires disclosing and posting research contact home phone numbers and cell phone numbers.
- When the need is critical and dissemination must be timely and broad (e.g., major program changes, disease outbreaks, potentially disruptive maintenance or renovation projects), your DAR broadcasts using email. The DAR recognizes the limitations of email and the high volumes entering in-boxes. The rules-of-thumb the DAR uses in addressing the shortcomings presented by email are to:
- Only communicate when necessary and
- Only direct communiques to the impacted population of investigators.
- Prepared by: Michael J. Huerkamp, DVM, DACLAM
- First Issued: December 16, 2011
- Revision Date: January 27, 2012
The DAR uses faculty investigators as the targets for email and also understands the risks in communications breakdown associated with using very busy and travel-prone persons as the conduit of communications into labs. Unfortunately, with > 200 laboratories using animals in research, >2,000 persons with facility access cards, and with about 33% of those card-holders turning over annually it is near impossible to maintain an accurate facility (or to the room level) list of users making faculty members really the only constant. When the DAR communicates directly to faculty members, it is assumed that these communications when pertinent will be forwarded by email, disseminated by announcement at lab meetings, or communicated to applicable personnel using other modes at faculty member discretion.
To ensure that important communications from DAR are receivable by email, your DAR recommends that precautions be established to ensure that rare, mass emails from DAR are not routed into quarantine or junk mail repositories.