Normally, submissions are made through a veterinarian (Vet-client), since veterinarians form the first line of defense against disease and production problems in the field.
We require that owners provide the name of a licensed veterinarian when submitting carcasses of, or specimens from, either food-producing or companion animals to our laboratory.
This allows us to inform the referring veterinarian about problems in their client's herds/animals that we may have identified in the laboratory.
The veterinarian is a key player in the problem-solving team.
· Select and submit high-quality specimens and carcasses representative of the problem. Make arrangements with the laboratory prior to submitting large numbers of carcasses/specimens.
· Provide a concise but adequate history, including signalment information, clinical signs, morbidity/mortality, treatments, vaccination, gross necropsy findings, and a tentative diagnosis.
· Inform the laboratory of previous submissions related to the case (include previous AHL laboratory numbers).
· Promptly communicate laboratory results and interpretation to owners. The AHL does not provide interpretation of results to owners.
Specimens may be submitted by animal owners (Owner-clients) ONLY on necropsy's and ONLY if the name of a licensed veterinarian is provided.
All animal owner submissions must be prepaid (Partial payment required upon animal delivery).
By submitting the name of a licensed veterinarian, owner-clients consent to the disclosure of test results to the licensed veterinarian.
With either Vet-clients or Owner-clients, the client is responsible for payment of all costs of testing. Test results and all other communication are sent directly to the client. In the case of Owner-clients, test results are also sent to the named licensed veterinarian. Test results will be sent to third parties (e.g., insurance companies) only upon written request of the client.
AHL client communications and the veterinarian-client-patient relationship
· The AHL does not accept submissions directly from owners without a veterinarian named as the primary contact.
The AHL directs animal owners to contact their veterinarian for interpretation of their laboratory report.
The AHL does NOT have a veterinarian-client-patient relationship (VCPR) with its clients, and does not give treatment recommendations. Rather, the AHL provides specialized testing services that can assist referring veterinarians in their diagnosis. Without a valid VCPR, College of Veterinarians of Ontario regulations prevent the AHL from providing interpretation and treatment recommendations to owners.
Just as human patients deal through their own physician concerning lab results, it is appropriate to have Owner-clients deal through their own veterinarian concerning veterinary lab results.
From CVO recommendations on “Ordering, performing and Interpreting laboratory tests in Veterinary Clinical Practice”:
“It is inappropriate for a laboratory to offer interpretation, including a diagnosis, or to provide test results directly to an owner – this should be provided to the treating veterinarian who is in the best position to interpret the results and their significance for the owner and advise on therapeutic options. It is not in the public interest for a laboratory to accept specimens directly from an owner or to provide the results directly to an owner.”
· In the event of a dispute with an owner’s current veterinarian, we ask for the name of a third-party veterinarian for laboratory data interpretation.
Our routine practice is to bill veterinarians only - we bill the referring veterinarian at the owner’s request only if approved by the veterinarian. When animal owners appear at one of our labs in person with their lab submission, we will require payment in advance (cash, debit, credit card).
To inquire services or have any questions answered - please call our Client Service Technician at 519 824-4120 ext 54530 or email us to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please note that if the questions or inquiries are in conflict of our client patient relationship, we will direct you to contact your veterinarian.
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