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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.
This article was published in the following journal.
Name: Journal of veterinary medical education
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Referral by physicians to testing or treatment facilities in which they have financial interest. The practice is regulated by the Ethics in Patient Referrals Act of 1989.
Management control systems for structuring health care delivery strategies around case types, as in DRGs, or specific clinical services.
A traditional term for all the activities which a physician or other health care professional normally performs to insure the coordination of the medical services required by a patient. It also, when used in connection with managed care, covers all the activities of evaluating the patient, planning treatment, referral, and follow-up so that care is continuous and comprehensive and payment for the care is obtained. (From Slee & Slee, Health Care Terms, 2nd ed)
Using certified ELECTRONIC HEALTH RECORDS technology to improve quality, safety, efficiency, and reduce HEALTHCARE DISPARITIES; engage patients and families in their health care; improve care coordination; improve population and public health; while maintaining privacy and security.
Services provided by an individual ethicist (ETHICISTS) or an ethics team or committee (ETHICS COMMITTEES, CLINICAL) to address the ethical issues involved in a specific clinical case. The central purpose is to improve the process and outcomes of patients' care by helping to identify, analyze, and resolve ethical problems.