Referring Veterinarian Information
We always prefer for the primary care veterinarian to be engaged in the referral process. We want to establish a veterinarian-client-patient-specialist relationship that enhances the value of the pet’s veterinary care team to the pet and owner. We look for strong relationships with our referring veterinarians that continue with time. AAHA and AVMA encourage practitioner-specialist relationships.
How to Refer a Patient
If you wish to refer a patient to us, please follow the following steps:
- Contact us at:
- Fill out our digital Patient Referral Form
Provide a copy of the form to the client to bring with them at the time of their appointment, or fax/email to the specific office directly.
- We will then contact your staff about conveying copies of medical records, lab values, pathology reports and images, making it as easy as 1-2-3.
Reasons for Referrals
The consultation is often the most important part of a referral that we can offer, even if we do not perform any elaborate diagnostic tests or treatments. The following is a list of common reasons that veterinarians refer their patients to AVIM&O:
- An uncommon disease is detected
- A second opinion is needed
- An outcome was unexpected
- Diagnostic assistance is needed
- Sophisticated diagnostic or therapeutic procedures in internal medicine or oncology are needed
- Multiple conditions are present requiring a multidisciplinary approach
- 24-hour monitoring is needed
What to Expect
Our goal is to develop a relationship with you, the referring veterinarian, that reflects personal trust and our high quality of services. We strive to maintain excellent communications between you, the pet owner, and attending specialist with referral summary letters via postal mail, electronic mail, fax, and phone calls. If requested prior to seeing the patient, we will do our best to answer your questions about potential options and costs for our services. Please call first if you feel it would be of value in our understanding of the situation. It is not our policy to give recommendations to clients prior to an appointment.
Disclaimer: Without first seeing a patient, we cannot determine the extent of required services and, consequently, cannot project precise costs. In order to fulfil the intent of the veterinary practice act of the State of Maryland, we do not offer direct recommendations to a client ahead of establishing a proper patient-client-veterinary relationship. This is for your protection as well as the patient’s.
At the time of the office visit, we provide an in-depth estimate of cost to the pet owner for review prior to the provision of care. After the visit and appropriate therapeutic or diagnostic procedures have been performed, we will follow with case updates for you. Direct phone calls at that time are generally made if the situation is critical or unique, or if there has been a notable change in direction of the situation. Generally, within 24 hours, a referral summary letter is faxed and mailed to you. We use a “CommForm” to subsequently follow up with you. These offer a more abbreviated/direct style for conveying new information about test results and evolving plans for patient treatment and monitoring. Excellent communications are a primary goal here at AVIM&O.
If you are interested in reading more about applicable situations and recommendations for referrals and practitioner relationships, please visit the American Animal Hospital Association Referral Guidelines.