An in-house ultrasound is an invaluable resource for any veterinary practice. When considering how to integrate ultrasound into your practice, consider these keys to success.

1. Choosing the correct equipment.

Consider your needs as a practice. Ultrasound is an incredibly versatile tool; every practice has different goals with the modality. Are you looking to perform full abdominal studies or more basic daily uses such as FAST/TFAST? Would you prefer a portable or cart system? What screen size and image quality? This will dictate the type of ultrasound you should invest in.

2. Choosing a few “champions” to run with the modality. 

Having well-respected and trusted team members champion the modality will get other team members on board. Nothing makes people more likely to resist change than change that comes uninvited and unsupported. Make sure your champions inspire the team and that you inspire your champions.

3. Initial training and education.

If you want to set your team up for success, you’ll need to ensure they feel comfortable with the new system and confident in their abilities. Set up staff wide training and education around your new equipment. After training, check in with your team and ensure they feel equipped.

4. Ongoing training and support.

Your training doesn’t stop after the initial session. Heska is proud to offer ongoing training and support for your practice. We offer online and hybrid education options and seminars and will offer you a loaner unit should your equipment ever fall into disrepair.

5. Daily practice in the clinic.

As they say – practice makes perfect. As your team continues to provide patients with the best possible care, using ultrasound equipment will soon become second nature. Schedule time so that your team has the opportunity to get their hand on an ultrasound probe at least once a day, even if it means a quick, focused single organ scan of an anesthetized patient. Performing all urine collection by ultrasound guided cystocentesis (except for cases where it is contraindicated) can help to further accelerate the learning curve and hand eye coordination with the ultrasound.