Today's Veterinary Business

OCT 2018

Today’s Veterinary Business provides information and resources designed to help veterinarians and office management improve the financial performance of their practices, allowing them to increase the level of patient care and client service.

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Equipment Guide 2018 Today's Veterinary Business • Equipment Guide 2018 32 ULTRASOUND Medical lighting has seen a major advancement in recent years in the form of light-emitting diode (LED) technology. When you switch from halogen or tungsten technolo- gy to LEDs in your surgery and treatment rooms, you can expect: • More effective patient care: LED lamps provide brighter, whiter light and reduce shadows, making it easier to see a patient's tissue color. Also, LEDs produce less heat, meaning less desic- cation of tissue. (Hot halogen lights can hasten tissue deterioration.) • 80 percent less energy use and cost: Because LED lights are more effi- cient at converting electricity to light, they drastically reduce energy usage and your bill. • No downtime due to bulb failure: LED lighting doesn't use traditional bulbs, so you won't experience an outage or have to change bulbs at inconvenient times. Professionally installed LED lighting lasts as much as 50,000 hours of use or more, resulting in a lower total cost over the life of the equipment. As you think about making a switch to LED lighting, you will want to keep the following in mind. • Installation budget: Plan for a one-time expense to properly install higher-end LEDs. The investment is worth every penny because improper installation and cheap lights can cause failures or, at least, reduced benefits. You'll need to make an LED investment only once every 10 to 15 years, so buy the best you can afford. • Brightness and color: LED technol- ogy is very bright and can cause eye fatigue. Overcome this by installing quality LED lighting that comes with a dimmer switch. To see the difference for yourself, arrange to visit a nearby clinic that has LED lighting. Your distributor rep can help you find a practice. Also, do a cost analysis of your electric bill, your current bulb costs and the price you would pay to repair your halogen system if it failed. This alone might justify the expense of upgrading. If your hospital's patient monitors are five to 10 years old, you're likely missing out on potentially lifesaving benefits offered by the latest models. Let's take a look. • Anesthesia: Since anesthesia affects so many patient functions, many of today's monitors go well beyond measuring the breaths per minute and the heart rate. They provide highly accurate multiparameter data for a total picture of a patient under anesthesia. • Blood pressure: If you haven't updated your BP monitor in a while, you'll be amazed at the technological advancements that make BP readings more reliable through automation. • ETCO2: Measuring a patient's breathing/ventilation during anesthesia used to be tricky and expensive with ETCO2 machines' frequent gas calibrations and fragile sensors. Today, the technology is easier to operate, more robust and reasonably priced. • Pulse Ox: The new PVI (Pleth Variability Index) technology has exciting possibilities for assessing fluid status in a more reliable way. No more "locked numbers" from losing the signal just when an animal starts to have issues. Using outdated or underperforming monitors brings a higher risk of patient death or postsurgical complications. For example, with kidney function: • If a patient's ETCO2 goes above 50mm/hg for a long period, the patient can develop respiratory acidosis. • If MAP (mean arterial pressure) drops below 60mm/Hg, the patient will not have adequate perfusion. These problems could kill 50 percent of the kidneys and you wouldn't know it. Even postsurgery blood tests won't show a problem. (BUN/creatinine do not start rising until 75 percent of the kidney function is lost.) So, when the patient comes in with kidney failure at 6 years old, connecting the problem to an anesthetic event during a spay at 1 years old is difficult. Since you're devoted to providing the best care possible, investing in new monitor technology is well worth it. Talk with your distributor or manufacturer's rep to evaluate the latest systems and learn about today's best practices. While ultrasound image quality is improving year after year, the big news these days is related to a telemedi- cine service called scan coaching. Here's how it works. • Several advanced ultrasound units allow you to contact a specialist or technical expert who "remotes in" and views the ultrasound image. The professional then coaches you on how to interpret the scan so you determine what's happening with the patient. • Some units have split-screen capability during the remote session. One side shows what the image should look like. Meanwhile, the coach guides you to move the probe until your image looks like the one on the "sample" side. This feature helps you quickly build confidence in reading ultrasound scans for various patients. • Ultimately, remote coaching improves patient care because it improves your ability to diagnose beyond what you can see on a digital X-ray. Look for ultrasound companies that offer training along with the ultrasound purchase. Another option is to pay for a training class, such as basic abdominal scanning, so you can test-drive the latest ultrasound units, know what a good image looks like and get familiar with moving the probe. Are you ready to buy your first ultrasound system, replace an outdated one or add more units? Keep the following in mind: • Low-cost units might have lower image quality. When you're learning how to diagnose conditions using ultra- sound, a poor image can make the determination much harder. • Spending more for a high-quality unit that offers scan coaching can be worth the expense. You'll quickly gain expertise that you can turn into extra revenue as you offer the service to more clients. LIGHTING MONITORS

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