In the past couple of months, the world of rapid assays has opened up with new products you can offer your customers. This includes feline combo tests (FIV and FeLV) as well as several single canine assays available now with Anaplasma coming soon. These accurate, lower-cost new rapid assay options offer many benefits to your customers and to you.
Some of the new rapid tests
- VetScan® Canine Heartworm Rapid Test and VetScan® Canine Ehrlichia Rapid Test from Abaxis.
- Enhanced WITNESS® HW (Heartworm) Antigen Test Kit from Zoetis.
- Solo Step® Heartworm Testing from Heska.
Key customer benefits
- Improved efficiency: The new tests offer single assay options which can help practices avoid waste because they can use only the tests that are relevant in their geographic region. For example, they can run canine heartworm, Lyme Disease, ehrlichia, giardia and parvo screens as single tests. A single anaplasma test is also coming soon. This saves money in areas where certain diseases don't occur, instead of having to run (and charge for) four diseases at once.
ractices also save money with single-assay retesting if needed. CAPC (the Companion Animal Parasite Council) offers new, local prevalence maps to help you determine which tests to run.
- Improved accuracy: The new tests run on the lateral flow platform and all have very good relevancy studies in terms of accuracy. In some cases, the new tests are more clinically relevant because their specificity of false positives and negatives are as good as or even better/higher than previous options.
- Time savings: Practices can save time with the new tests because they can use whole blood samples. No need to separate samples!
- Space savings: The new tests don't require refrigeration, so they don't take up precious fridge space in the practice and there's no "room temp" time required.
- Reduced waste: The new tests have a longer shelf life, which is ideal for smaller practices. This reduces waste for any practice that may not be able to run an entire box within a short dating period.
- Money savings: Some of the new tests are priced at less than half the cost of high-end combo tests. And, single-test options are much more economical than 4-in-1 tests.
Pretty exciting, right? So to help you get out there and offer these new testing solutions, we offer the following recommendations when making clinic calls.
5 Ways to position new rapid test benefits
- Start with the clinic experience. The first conversation starts with this question: "Are you doing screening tests in house? If not, should you be?" This opens the door to discuss the benefits of in-house testing such as getting quick answers, improving compliance, prompting the purchase of preventatives, etc., from you versus the Internet or chain stores. If a practice is already on board with in-house testing, continue with a review of testing protocol.
- Ask about testing protocol for an endemic area: Ask the doctor, "What are you currently testing for? Do you need to be testing for all four diseases in your geographic area?" This helps you bring up the new benefit of only testing for local prevalence.
- Review testing protocol to ensure practice efficiency: Ask about their refrigerator space and if they ever have waste due to expired product. Explain that the new tests don't require refrigeration and have longer expiration dates to minimize waste.
- Review lateral workflow to demonstrate ease of use. While you're presenting the new tests as options, talk about the workflow benefits of lateral flow vs. ELISA. "There's no snapping and waiting, and you can use whole blood samples in some cases."
- Help your customers realize savings potential. Finally, ask, "Based on volume, if you were to change your screening protocol and use a different and more cost-effective single-assay testing platform, what would that look like for savings each month and even for the year?" Help them do the match and provide a major AHA! moment.
For more on positioning rapid tests to increase sales, read Real-time Care.
Next time, we'll discuss a clever way you can help your practices boost wellness visits and ultimately increase diagnostic and preventative revenue.