We had an old in-house biochem machine that occasionally didn’t get results due to spotting failure. It was also difficult to find spare parts and maintenance was becoming an issue.
What’s good about it
The Catalyst is easy, quick and efficient. It tells you if you make a mistake in the process rather than wasting the slides. It is handy to also run just electrolytes for things like Addison’s disease and just T4 for hyperthyroid cases.
The in-house training by IDEXX was first class and follow-up problems after installation were efficiently and thoroughly handled by the company. One very useful aspect of the machine is that the sample is fresh—less than 30 minutes old—and there is no need to spin the blood; just put it straight in. Our most common uses are for pre-anaesthetic, urgent results and safety of NSAIDS. We send other things to the lab.
So far we are pleased with the purchase; it’s getting a lot of use. IDEXX also gave us a good deal for the trade-in on our old machine.
What’s not so good
Our main problem is that the results cannot go straight to our client records using our software. As we use BeeFree, which is owned by IDEXX, this is a little surprising. I believe it is not a problem with RX Works. The other issue to be aware of is the cost of disposables—they need to be factored in to determine charges to the client.