TOPAZ Elements has numerous modules (13 at last count!) that can be used effectively in a variety of combinations. It is true to say, however, that the Census module (along with the Protocols module) represents a sort of “hub of the wheel.” The Census module allows you to create and manage the animals that are then used in the Veterinary Management module (and in the upcoming Breeding module). And, as you know, having accurate census data is critical for both Billing and Cost Accounting.
Over many years we’ve learned that, except for the very smallest facilities, keeping accurate census data requires periodic “audits” or counts. Unless you have a strategy for this, your census will drift and become inaccurate. Different customers have different levels of tolerance for this, but among those customers who generate their per diem charges via Elements, weekly counts are the norm. This is most commonly performed using barcode scanning and the TOPAZ Mobile Census app.
These counts catch any new cages that have mysteriously appeared (e.g. from investigator splits and weanings), as well as any that have mysteriously disappeared (e.g. been taken to lab for a procedure). They also ensure that the locations of cages are updated to cover any cages that have been moved into different rooms and can also track changes of cage type.
These counts are part of your broader “cage card management” strategy that can help keep your PIs in check! The TOPAZ Services team has advised hundreds of facilities on best practices for such matters and is always happy to help.
Remember, if your hub is broken, the wheel won’t roll!