Making a Referral

We Welcome Your Referrals

We understand you have choices for referral to a specialist, especially throughout the Valley. 
In general, we believe the quality of primary care in our community to be excellent. For those times, however, when you know a patient could benefit by our expertise, equipment or medical intervention, please know that we welcome your calls and will be honored to serve as your health care partner. We genuinely enjoy the camaraderie and collegiality our profession affords by the nature of the referral relationship. And your faith in us is accepted humbly. If there is ever anything that we can do personally to assist you, please let us know. We enjoy visiting your practices, providing lunch ‘n learns, or simply sharing a cup of coffee.

Tips for a Successful Referral

Cardiology Referrals

First, we want you to know that Dr. Church is available in different locations on different days. On Monday, he is in Scottsdale, and sees appointments in the Scottsdale Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care Center. Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, he is at our main location at AVS in Gilbert. Thursdays, he sees patients in Glendale at Southwest Veterinary Referral Center. All appointments are scheduled through our Gilbert location, and we will help your client schedule their appointments at the most convenient location.

When your client calls to schedule an appointment with Dr. Church, we will call you and request records. We always ask for the last year's worth of records. We ask that this include all medical notes, physical exams, lab results, and previous and current radiographic images. Imaging is extremely important for the cardio referral, as this is one of the best indicators of current cardiac condition and improvement over time.

Depending on the cardiac condition, Dr. Church will recommend either an echocardiogram and/or EKG or holter monitor. Radiographs may be recommended if no current images are available. If any additional testing is recommended, we will give your client a detailed treatment plan.

Internal Medicine Referrals

Dr. Riensche sees patients Monday through Friday in Gilbert. She has multiple appointments daily for new consultations along with re-check appointments. For internal medicine appointments, we ask that you send the same records as cardiology (all medical notes, physical exams, lab results, and previous and current radiographic images). However, unlike cardiology, we ask that the patient has fasted, unless diabetic. Water and medications are fine up until the appointment time.

We know that it can be tough for your clients to come to a veterinary appointment during the week. As such, we strive to get all testing and diagnostics done in the same visit to optimize their time. For internal medicine, it is extremely difficult for us to give your clients an estimate prior to their visits. Multiple factors come into play when we put together their treatment plans. No two pets with liver disease will be the same. We will review the records and test results to put together an individualized, detailed treatment plan. If your client would like an estimate before the referral, we ask that you, the doctor, call, and we can try to give you a broad estimate for treatment.

Outpatient Diagnostic Imaging & Teleradiology Services

Dr. Heffelman performs all outpatient ultrasounds and CTs in Gilbert. Outpatient ultrasounds can be a source of confusion for your clients. Once clients hear the word "ultrasound," that can be all they think about. Please be sure to specify whether you want just an outpatient ultrasound or whether you want the case referred to Internal Medicine for a consultation and work up. For outpatient services, we ask for a year of records and any pertinent imaging you have performed. We also ask that the patients don't eat after midnight the night prior (unless the patient is diabetic). Water is OK up to the time of the appointment. For ultrasounds, we will call you as soon as the ultrasound is completed to relay the results and will have a written report to you before the end of our work day.

For CTs, all are planned and interpreted by our board-certified radiologist on site. This means minimal turn around time for a report. We will call you with a verbal report the same day as the CT, and written reports are usually completed within 24 hours.

If you would like to have your radiographs interpreted by a local board-certified radiologist, we also offer same day teleradiology services. If you would like more information regarding any of these services, please give us a call.

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Locations in Gilbert, Peoria & Scottsdale
Phone: 480-635-1110 ext. 7

Fax: 480-892-0540
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