Lab tests: In or out?

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Jan 01, 2007


Caitlin Rivers
Q: What are the benefits of in-house versus outside lab work?


Monica Dixon Perry
When you offer such programs as senior pet screening, you may choose to do lab testing in your hospital or outsource this work. Firstline Editorial Advisory Board member Caitlin Rivers, a veterinary assistant and technician supervisor at Metzger Animal Hospital in State College, Pa., gives these benefits for in-house lab work:
  • You get fast results, so doctors can discuss the results with clients before they go home.
  • Doctors know about any reasons they shouldn't vaccinate the pet, such as a compromised immune system, right away. And clients can get medications they need based on test results before they leave the clinic.
  • You can keep the pet at the practice if you need additional tests, rather than asking the client to return.
  • The client sees the results and value in the tests before paying.

Monica Dixon Perry, CVPM, a consultant with VMC Inc. in Evergreen, Colo., gives these benefits for outsourced lab work:

  • It's less labor-intensive, so your team members have more time to cater to the patients that need your immediate attention.
  • If you work with an established lab, you benefit from the knowledge of professionals with extensive experience and sometimes specialization in interpreting the results.
  • Outside labs are governed by agencies that oversee their policies and procedures.