Today's Veterinary Business

DEC-JAN 2017

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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56 Today's Veterinary Business • Equipment Guide 2017 Many veterinarians will decide in the fourth quarter of 2017 whether to make capital equipment purchases to take advantage of Section 179 in the Internal Revenue Service tax code. This provision allows businesses to deduct the full purchase price of qualifying equipment bought or financed during the tax year. The Today's Veterinary Business Equipment Guide provides basic insight into major categories and may help guide veterinarians on potential purchases. Technological advances have made many procedures easier to do in the practice, and upgrades to existing equipment may make sense from a clinical or financial perspective. We hope this is helpful in getting the conversations started. This is the second in a two-part series. Part 1, published in the October/November issue, covered electrosurgery, microscopes, ultrasound, chemistry analyzers, IV pumps, laser surgery, scales, digital radiography and autoclaves. Anesthesia equipment is used to administer agents or drugs that temporarily provide sedation so an animal won't move or feel pain during a medical procedure. Basic inhalation anesthesia machines deliver a controlled amount of an anesthetic agent mixed with oxygen, and provide a method of assisting the patient's breathing. Veterinarians can reduce the level of patient risk by using modern, fully functioning anesthesia equipment and by developing patient-specific protocols for anesthetic and vital-signs monitoring. Equipment at a glance All anesthesia machines include the same four components: • Gas source (typically oxygen) • Gas pressure regulator • Flowmeter that controls the amount of gas to the patient • Vaporizer that delivers a concentration of the anesthetic agent to the patient. Recent improvements in anesthesia equipment have led to improved patient safety. For example, occlusion valves make it possible to close the adjustable pressure limiting, or APL valve (used to manage excess waste gas), with the touch of a button. (Previously, you had to turn a dial to close the valve and then remember to open it to avoid over-pressurizing the machine and putting the patient at risk.) In modern surgical suites, the staff uses patient monitoring equipment to make sure vital signs aren't compromised during sedation. These include machines that monitor heart rate and blood pressure, the amount of carbon dioxide being expelled during breathing and the amount of oxygen in the blood. Well-maintained anesthesia equipment can last many years, but machines do break down and must be replaced to avoid risking patient and staff safety. For instance, covering holes in breathing circuits with porous medical tape is not sufficient to prevent waste gas expired by the patient from leaking into the clinic. Quality anesthesia equipment varies in price depending on the accessories needed and the sophistication level required for measuring oxygen and anesthetic agents. Higher-priced units generally are constructed of high-quality materials that last longer, are less likely to leak, and often include safety features, technical support and compliance to International Organization for Standardization (ISO) manufacturing standards. Patient monitoring options include a vital signs monitor designed to measure parame- ters such as blood pressure, temperature and blood oxygen saturation. Other products that can aid veterinarians in their patients' recovery include fluid pumps and patient warming devices. Peripheral equipment includes Sodalime, Breath Fresh canisters, endotracheal tubes, anesthesia masks, anesthesia mask diaphragms, anesthesia circuits, breathing bags, roll gauze and endotrach tube tie-downs Equipment Guide 2017 Anesthesia Laser therapy Practices are attracted to this fast-growing category because laser therapy instruments are significantly reducing pain and inflammation in patients. Clinical studies and real-world uses are proving that veterinary laser therapy allevi- ates pain and inflammation, reduces swelling, and stimulates nerve regeneration and cells involved in tissue repair. Equipment overview Class IV therapy lasers are quickly becoming the technology of choice for therapeutic treatments because they reduce pain and inflammation and accelerate healing, all in a noninvasive, drug-free way. They use electromagnetic energy (light) that interacts with tis- sue to produce "photo-bio-stimulation" or "photo-biomodulation." This response decreases pain perception through its effect on nerve cells and nociceptors, by increasing stimulation thresholds, reducing neuronal impulses, and increasing the release of tissue endorphins. Laser therapy benefits include: • Improved patient outcomes • Effective relief of pain, inflammation and swelling • Extremely well tolerated by pets; no known side effects • May decrease the need for surgery and medications • Reduces healing time • Requires no sedation or clipping • Quick and easy to administer (approximately three to six minutes per site) • Allows pet owners to be present and feel that they are participating in the healing process • Versatile for all animals across a wide range of conditions: Applicable for osteoarthritis, degenerative joint and disc disease, hip dysplasia, dermatologic disorders (hot spots, interdigital dermatitis, acral lick granuloma), acute and chronic otitis, periodontal disease (feline stomatitis), post-operative healing (to treat incision pain and reduce inflammation before the patient wakes up), acute traumas (sprains or strains without radiographic changes or ruptured ligaments). • Increase practice revenue: Therapy lasers can work alongside other treatment modalities to maximize effectiveness, and can be safely and easily applied by veterinary technicians or staff to free up the valuable time of veterinarians. Treat- ment plans for chronic patients are typically sold in groups of five or six, so you can ensure compliance and encourage repeat clinic visits. Once you recoup your investment, there are no further financial obligations. • Retain existing clients and attract new clients: Offer a new drug-free option to treat patients that are noncompliant with treatment regimens or unable to toler- ate drugs. Reduce recovery time. Important: Safety procedures must be understood and followed when using laser therapy tools. It is imperative to have safety goggles specific to blocking the wavelength of their specific laser, and cloth or other means to protect a patient's eyes. Source: AAHA Therapeutic Laser Buyer's Guide

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