Strategies to Improve Case Outcome When Referral Is Not Affordable.

08:00 EDT 13th June 2019 | BioPortfolio

Summary of "Strategies to Improve Case Outcome When Referral Is Not Affordable."

We conducted a survey-based study to determine whether on-site consultations and cost-effective protocols are beneficial to general practitioners handling challenging small animal internal medicine patients when owners cannot afford referral and whether fourth-year veterinary students benefit from training in this area. Fifteen general practices were visited over 12 months by a board-certified internist and students. On-site consultations for patients belonging to owners who could not afford referral were conducted by the internist. Students and general practitioners completed pre- and post-participation surveys. Students' surveys contained questions about comfort level with complicated cases on a budget and knowledge gained from, and perception of, the on-site consultations and protocol development. Practitioners' surveys contained questions about comfort level and experience with complicated internal medicine cases, the benefit of the consultations, and the cost-effective protocols, which were compiled into a booklet for practitioners. All students and practices completed the pre-survey, and 56 of 60 (93.3%) of the students and 13 of 15 (86.7%) of the practices completed the post-survey. Approximately 68% of students believed their comfort level with budget-limited cases improved and that they benefited from participation in the consultations and protocol development. Similarly, most general practitioners believed these strategies were highly beneficial. The cost of veterinary care, especially referral medicine, is unaffordable for many owners. Veterinary students should be exposed to these challenges and trained in cost-effective approaches. Similarly, general practitioners may be able to more successfully and efficiently diagnose and treat challenging internal medicine cases using the proposed strategies when owners decline referral.


Journal Details

This article was published in the following journal.

Name: Journal of veterinary medical education
ISSN: 0748-321X
Pages: 1-9


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