Building a better understanding of the referral process — from what’s working to what needs work — is the foundation that drives the development of the Collaborative Care Coalition education and outreach plan.
Collaborative Care Coalition’s Research
In 2014, VetSOAP (now CCC) embarked on a journey to learn everything possible about referral dynamics in veterinary medicine as a means to identify gaps hindering optimal collaboration.
We view this research process as one which is no different than how we would proceed when presented with a diseased patient, meaning that: Phase I is the history and physical exam (i.e. the white paper); Phase II is diagnostic testing to fill in the gaps (i.e. the qualitative step); Phase III is the diagnosis; and Phase IV is the treatment. Phase V is then additional diagnostics to further refine our treatment plan.
We have found a clear correlation between the health of companion animals and the frequency and timeliness of collaboration between primary care veterinarians and specialists. In addition, our results demonstrate that those practices that routinely collaborate are also healthier practices. We also anticipate that they have more loyal clientele, and thus, hold greater value.
How Our Research Can Help Your Practice
In veterinary medicine — as in human medicine — working in silos is counterproductive to achieving the best-possible patient outcomes. Whether you are a primary care veterinarian or a veterinary specialist, forging referral relationships with other veterinarians in your service area is a best practice that our research affirms can deliver real benefits, including:
- Help the animals you care for live longer and better — Objective data proves that pets whose health is co-managed by primary care veterinarians and specialists do better than those managed by primary care veterinarians alone.
- Build a more loyal client base — When their pets receive optimal care and live longer, clients are grateful and feel more bonded to you.
- Strengthen your practice’s bottom line — When pets live longer and their owners are loyal to your practice, it translates into increased revenue for your practice.
- Change the conversation — When you educate clients about all the care options that are available to their animals, conversations about their pets’ health shifts from a focus on finances to one of providing optimal care, and positions you as a trusted resource who puts patients first.
- The entire industry wins, too — When pets thrive, practices do well — and so do all the companies providing veterinary products and services.