As veterinarians, producers, feed mills and industry professional figure out how they’re going to handle Veterinary Feed Directives (VFDs) in the coming months, it’s important to keep in mind the increase in resources this ruling will require — including the time it takes to create and distribute VFDs, as well as the resources needed to oversee the process. We’ve summarized some important differences in the paper vs. electronic VFD process.
ELECTRONIC VS. PAPER VFDS
Both paper and electronic VFD formats are acceptable, however there are several things you should know when deciding which format works for you.
- The FDA says that an electronic VFD (eVFD) may be used instead of a paper VFD, as long as it meets the requirements of 21 CFR part 11.
- A scanned copy of a paper VFD does not constitute an electronic VFD. In that case, the original, ink-signed paper copy of the VFD is what must be stored by the vet.
- An eVFD must be signed by the veterinarian, which can be done with a compliant digital signature.
FeedLINK® Electronic Veterinary Feed Directive (VFD) system is the only complete solution that provides end-to-end management of VFDs and helps enable compliance. FeedLINK creates and stores true electronic VFDs using a secure cloud-based system. This system has been scrutinized by a third party auditor who specializes in Part 11 compliance.
GlobalVetLINK’s digital signatures are part 11 compliant. When a vet signs the GVL eVFD, they must provide their username and password. Once the document is signed, it is locked from any further alteration. GVL utilizes PKI (Public Key Infrastructure) technology to digitally sign eVFD documents which enables those who view GVL certificates and VFDs to verify the certificate as an authentic electronically signed document.
Patent-pending GVL SmartEngine™ technology helps ensure VFDs are accurate, complete and compliant with requirements.
When creating a VFD in a paper form or a fillable pdf, a vet must provide the information needed from memory or by looking it up and then checking it over for accuracy. For example, whether a VFD drug can be used in combination with other antibiotics.
GVL SmartEngine technology helps the vet through the creation process by holding this information within the system and presenting the correct options. Following completion of the certificate, it checks the document for accuracy and ensures the use of valid data. If something is missing or found to be incorrect, GVL SmartEngine technology identifies the errors to the veterinarian.
Ultimately, GVL SmartEngine technology reduces inaccuracies and saves time spent reviewing documents and following up with compliance issues. This improves efficiency while easing the minds of veterinarians, feed distributors, producers and state animal health officials.