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For Immediate Release

August 7, 2014
Steve Merritt
Public Information Officer
Montana Department of Livestock
406-444-9431

Survey Shows High Use of Veterinary Lab, Satisfaction with Services

A recent survey of Montana veterinarians shows that they use the Montana Diagnostic Veterinary Laboratory in Bozeman, use it frequently and are overwhelmingly satisfied with the services it provides.

The survey, conducted in June and July, was designed to gauge veterinarians’ satisfaction with the lab and identify potential areas for improvement.

“We wanted to know how practicing veterinarians feel about the lab,” said Christian Mackay, executive officer for the Montana Board of Livestock. “We’ve always known that the lab receives a vast majority of the state’s diagnostic samples and has solid support, but we wanted some specifics.”

And according to the survey…

  • 83 percent of the respondents use the lab, and 78 percent of those use it on a weekly-plus basis.
  • 76 percent of the respondents were satisfied/very satisfied with the lab overall, while just 8 percent were dissatisfied/very dissatisfied.
  • 85 percent of the respondents were satisfied/very satisfied with the lab’s responsiveness to technical questions and concerns.
  • 93 percent of the respondents were satisfied/very satisfied with the professionalism and courteousness of lab staff.

“The numbers show high usage and a high rate of satisfaction,” Mackay said.

Other survey questions focused on satisfaction with turnaround time (84 percent satisfied/very satisfied), online instructions (57 percent satisfied/very satisfied), ordering of test materials (72 percent satisfied/very satisfied), and clarity of reports received from the lab (78 percent satisfied/very satisfied).

The two most common reasons for using the lab were convenience and cost, which were listed by 81 and 66 percent, respectively, of the survey’s respondents.

In addition to the survey questions, Mackay said respondents also provided useful information in the form of comments.

The survey, which was conducted on surveymonkey.com, was open to practicing Montana veterinarians – there are about 500 – and drew 136 respondents.

In a separate survey conducted by the Montana Veterinary Medical Association at its midsummer meeting, 93 and 90 percent of the respondents, respectively, said their practice and the state of Montana would be significantly impacted if the lab were closed. Ninety percent of the respondents in the same survey said they believe the lab plays a needed public health role.

“It’s pretty clear that the state’s veterinarians feel that the lab is an asset,” Mackay said.

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