The average primary veterinarian uses X-rays for multiple patients each day, and relies on those imaging results for quick, accurate diagnoses, so treatment can begin promptly. Most general practitioners can interpret routine images in-house, but what if you aren’t sure what you’re looking for, or you see something suspicious and wonder about the significance? Consulting with a VESPECON radiologist can provide you with the answers you need and ensure top-notch care. Here are several ways that a radiologist consultation can benefit your practice and patients.
#1: Eliminate uncertainty and misdiagnoses
Accurate diagnoses are the key to effective patient treatment. If you aren’t sure what you see on an X-ray or ultrasound, a radiologist can give you the answers you need. When you’re confident about your diagnosis, your patients get better care, and your clients develop deeper trust in your abilities and recommendations. Also, when a radiologist confirms your suspicions, they can potentially improve your mental health, because you’ll worry less about whether you made the right patient decisions when you go home at night.
#2: Learn something new from an expert
Each time you send out X-rays or other images for interpretation, you’ll receive a highly detailed report. A radiologist examines and interprets all findings visible on the images, whether they were your focus or incidental. After reading the radiologist’s report, you can look again at your images, learn to recognize those harder-to-see findings, and sharpen your own diagnostic skills. Over time, you’ll become more skilled and confident in your diagnostic abilities.
#3: Quickly establish a diagnosis in emergencies
Most radiology consultation services offer a STAT option for quickly interpreting crucial images in emergency situations. A radiologist can confirm a foreign body or suspicious gas pattern, so you can perform surgery on your patient before their condition declines. If you have a patient hit by a car or other trauma, a detailed image review can catch small or subtle changes before they become critical problems.
#4: Provide clients with the option for a second opinion
Second opinions are important in human and veterinary medicine, because everyone involved then feels confident about the final prescribed treatment course for a case where the outcome is uncertain or the treatment is expensive or invasive. When you make a serious diagnosis, consulting with a radiologist for a second opinion can provide clients with peace of mind because they feel confident they are doing the right thing for their pet.
#5: Expand your clinic’s imaging capabilities
Most general practice veterinarians limit their in-house imaging to X-ray and ultrasound, because the advanced equipment requires a large financial investment and amount of space, and specialty training is needed to perform and interpret advanced imaging studies.
However, if your practice is large enough to support a CT or MRI machine, you can open up an entirely new revenue stream and provide a service that differentiates you from other area general practitioners. A radiology consultation provides your patients with faster diagnostic results without a referral, and you become a more efficient and trusted provider.
#6: Add value to your radiology packages
Sometimes, getting clients to say “Yes” to a pricey estimate depends on your presentation of their options. Package pricing offered at different tiers helps them to decide on a package rather than whether the test is necessary. Include a radiologist consultation in the highest-tier package, and provide clients with this service at a slight discount, so they know the bundled services provide added value to your services. Clients see value when they know they are getting more for less, and they feel good about providing the recommended care.
VESPECON’s radiology process
Our consultant services now include a staff radiologist who can interpret a wide range of diagnostic images, including advanced CT and MRI studies. We offer STAT options and consultations on our video chat platform with a radiologist who can address your questions or concerns about your patient’s results. When you choose VESPECON, you’ll also have access to our complete network of consulting specialists with expertise across multiple species and small and large animal disciplines who can advise you on your patients’ next steps. We are the one-stop shop for all your consulting needs.
Contact us to learn more about our consulting services, our in-person specialty hospital network, or our newest offerings—radiology and cardiology study interpretation. When you’re ready to start your VESPECON partnership and elevate patient care in your clinic, sign up here.