Veterinary medicine has changed radically over the past few years—and so has attitudes toward pets in America. In fact, 80% of pet owners view their pets as family members, according to a survey by the American Veterinary Medical Association. There’s even been a rise in pet-custody battles in divorce courts around the U.S.
More than 67% of US households own a pet now, or about 84.9 million homes. In 1988, only 56% of households owned a pet. And since pets now are perceived as family members, owners are much more willing to open their pocketbooks for expensive veterinary procedures to extend or prolong their pets’ lives. It’s no surprise that more and more veterinary practices offer the latest in veterinary medicine, including onsite MRIs, which used to be relegated to veterinary specialty practices.
So, is MRI right for your veterinary practice?
Absolutely. The demand for MRI scans for veterinary diagnosis used to be relegated for large animals, purebred show animals or exotic animals. But now if Princess the Siamese cat or Meatball the bullmastiff needs an MRI to determine what’s wrong with them, pet owners are opening their pocketbooks for high-level imaging. And since many are now opting for pet insurance that covers expensive imaging scans, there’s just no reason for you to send your patients elsewhere—and lose that revenue. The financial reality is, it could take as few as 3-4 scans per month to cover your investment in MRI.
By offering on-site MRI you also reduce the time to diagnosis—and the stress of having to transport a pet patient to another facility for the imaging. If you’ve got space in your clinic to house MRI without an extensive remodel, it makes perfect sense (and dollars and cents) to acquire one for your practice.
Many MRI options have much smaller footprints than larger systems—and could fit into your facility easily. Both closed and open MRI systems could be an option, including the GE 1.5T EXCITE HCe.
In addition, veterinary imaging does not have to meet the same requirements as those for human. You aren’t required to use a particular magnet strength in order to quality for insurance reimbursement. That means you could choose an open MRI system at a lower magnet strength which can easily fit into a much smaller space. The Philips Panorama and Hitachi Airis II are great examples of small-space imaging options.
Even if you don’t have an extra square inch at your practice, there is another option—you could rent a mobile MRI trailer. Not only will you be able to offer medical imaging to your patients, but you can see if the demand makes a permanent MRI installation a smart choice.
Every veterinary clinic is unique. You’ll need to examine the demands of your marketplace, the cost of MRI and the competition in your area before deciding. However, adding MRI to your practice doesn’t mean you have to buy the newest technology. There are a wide variety of open and closed MRI options on the refurbished and used market, which can make it much more affordable. To find out more, talk to an expert at Atlantis Worldwide. We’ve been helping hospitals, veterinary practices, urgent care centers and other healthcare facilities with the technology they need at a price they can afford—for more than 27 years.
Some blogs you may have missed:
- The Most Interesting MRI Articles
- MRI Infographic: Closed Bore, Open MRI & Wide Bore
- Confused About MRI Coils?
- The 101 On Veterinary X-Ray Equipment
- Free MRI Resources
Meet the author: Vikki Harmonay