How Animal Health Australia uses MasterDocs

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Animal Health Australia uses MasterDocs to maintain the Australian Veterinary Emergency Plan (AUSVETPLAN) - a series of 95 documents which provide essential guidance to Australia’s agricultural sector to manage emergency animal disease outbreaks.

Writing or reviewing each manual requires input from industry and both federal and state government agencies.

Writing groups, made up of authors located in different parts of Australia, are formed to work on each AUSVETPLAN manual. A draft then undergoes a multi-stage review process to ensure the content is accurate and appropriate.

 

The challenge of maintaining complex and evolving content

Since the first edition in 1991, AUSVETPLAN has evolved in breadth and scope and has grown to encompass thousands of pages of content.

Before moving to MasterDocs, AUSVETPLAN was written and reviewed using documents that were emailed between authors and reviewers. This caused issues such as corruption of documents, version control, and difficulties collating changes made on separate documents.

Keeping repeated text consistent across multiple documents was problematic with authors editing parts of documents that were not under review. Writers were getting distracted by formatting rather than focusing on content.

In addition to document integrity issues, for most manuals, 3-4 meetings were held face-to-face; a significant cost in dollars and travel time. The system was unsustainable.

The transition to MasterDocs

In moving Animal Health Australia to MasterDocs, we developed a customised workflow to align with the AUSVETPLAN authoring and review process. This included locking content from editing once approved. 

Most end users quickly adapted to using MasterDocs once they realised how easy to use and intuitive it is (even with no IT background).

MasterDocs delivered a complete solution

Working in MasterDocs’ web-based system allows up to 50 of Animal Health Australia's authors to write, review, collaborate and comment on documents at the same time.

Animal Health Australia saved $50,000 in the first year of using MasterDocs, mostly due to reduced travel needs for authors and reviewers.

 

Content reuse and multichannel publishing

The integrity of each manual is maintained through the ability to reuse information from one manual to another, and automatically update text across manuals.

Added benefits include opportunities for more subject matter experts to contribute to AUSVETPLAN, as they can easily review and contribute to manuals regardless of location.

Once documents reach final stage, they are easily published to HTML and PDF. MasterDocs can accommodate additional publishing outputs in future if required.

A healthy and sustainable livestock industry 

The result of improved collaboration and management of AUSVETPLAN manuals is accurate and up-to-date guides that widely accessible. This means that emergency disease outbreaks can be brought under control quickly, protecting animal health and the sustainability of Australia's livestock industries.