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How to Maximise the Benefits of Referral

How to decide if a referral is appropriate for a patient?

  • Uncertain or unconfirmed diagnosis
  • Diagnosis or treatment requiring equipment/expertise not available in practice
  • Poor response to treatment

Points to consider when discussing a referral with an owner:

  • Location of referral centre - Remember your closest referral centre may not always be the best option for you or your client. At Anderson Moores we are staffed by appropriately trained clinicians and nurses, and you and your clients will always get the service you expect. We are constantly investing in new equipment and we will be undertaking major expansion later this year. The value of a multidisciplinary referral centre should not be overlooked. Even what seems like a straightforward case may need input from another discipline. At Anderson Moores we will soon cover all the major disciplines, with neurology starting in June this year.
  • Appointment times – at AMVS we always try to be as accommodating as possible for your clients. However, to provide the best service possible and to minimise hospital stays it is useful for clients to be aware that we are unable to offer evening or weekend appointments for non-emergency cases. We can however often accommodate afternoon appointments on request.
  • Cost - We always give clients a realistic estimate at the time of the initial consultation and discuss the various options available for their pet. We always try and keep our fees as low as possible despite continuously investing in new specialists and equipment.
  • Most clients appreciate being offered the option of referral if it is in the animals’ best interest. Some clients may decide that referral is not appropriate for them, but they will usually feel satisfied that they have been offered that option.
  • We always try to see urgent cases as soon as possible. Cases seen early in the day have the best opportunity to have their investigations carried out and laboratory tests submitted that same day. Early referral is therefore often beneficial for urgent cases

If full referral is not an option for a client, what options do you have?

  • Often a one hour consultation with a specialist can help to advance the case. You will receive a written report with the thoughts of the specialist and options for further investigation and treatment at your practice.
  • We offer an outpatient ultrasound service to help further your own investigations
  • Request advice: We are always happy to give advice to our referring vets.
  • We have a fax back form for vets to complete so we have a summary of the case. These can be found on our website.

What do you do if you are referring a client to Anderson Moores?

  • If possible please write a short referral letter detailing the animal’s signalment, the nature and duration of the problem, any tests carried out and pertinent results. This will help to avoid unnecessary repetition of tests and give us a clear idea of the main reason for referral and your expectations. It is also useful to include any current medication as owners often forget to bring these with them. Please feel free to call before referral if you would like to discuss the withdrawal of any medications that could interfere with further testing.

What to expect from us if you refer one of your patients

  • Prompt communication detailing the tests performed, the diagnosis (where possible), the treatment administered and the ongoing plan
  • A follow up plan to suit you and your client. The long term care of most animals is transferred back to your practice when they have been discharged from Anderson Moores. We never dispense long courses of medication or provide more than a few days of diet so that clients come back to you for these. All blood tests can be performed at your practice with our continued support and advice. If you feel that it is preferable for cases to return to AMVS in the first instance for follow up then we are also happy to accommodate this.

Published: 01-10-2015

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