COVID-19 Reponse

APRIL 23, 2020

It has been about a month since we implemented our new pandemic protocols to help protect our team, as well as you, from COVID-19 and we want to acknowledge how wonderful you have been. Thank you for your patience and flexibility as we do our best to provide our standard quality veterinary care amidst all the changes and new protocols. As we continue to improve our curbside service, we have a few updates and reminders that we’d like you to be aware of.

As a reminder, if you are ill, have been in close contact with someone who is ill, or have traveled within the last 2-weeks, we ask that you reschedule if the visit is not urgent, or have another individual bring in your pet. If your pet’s visit is an urgent matter, we will work with you to figure out the best course of action to have your pet seen. This may include discussing alternate facilities, such as Dove Lewis, as we are not equipped with a dedicated isolation space and we are limited in what personal protective equipment we have available to us. Please be honest with us as that keeps the team, their families, and other clients safe and protected.

As many of us are feeling uncertain and anxious right now, we are also seeing increased stress, fear, and anxiety responses in our patients, even when normally very relaxed. This is a result of being physically separated from you. When you call to schedule your pet’s visit, we will discuss the recommendation of administering an anti-anxiety medication prior to your visit to help decrease the stress and anxiety your pet may be experiencing. The goal of adding in a pre-visit anti-anxiety medication is to help your pet feel less stressed and make the visit more enjoyable as well as reducing the risk of future veterinary visit stress. Once a doctor approves the medication, we will have a dose ready to pick up so it can be administered at least 2-3 hours prior to the veterinary visit. We encourage discussion with your veterinary care team if you have any questions or concerns about the recommendation for pre-visit anti-anxiety medication.

As we continue to refine our curbside service, we are focusing on ways to decrease wait times and make your visit more efficient. Please note that we may be calling from a blocked number as that line is not impacted by incoming calls.

The purpose of our current appointment flow is to minimize contact between the veterinary team and clients to keep our team, clients, and patients as safe as possible. We thank you for your patience and flexibility as we continue to mitigate risk, honor your time and needs, and adapt to the current pandemic climate.

1.      When you schedule your appointment we will ask screening health questions and recommend pre-appointment anti-anxiety medication for your pet. Ideally, all pets have medication to reduce their increased anxiety related to being separated from their owners. This medication costs $5 and will be ready to pick up prior to your appointment.

2.      When you arrive at Pearl Animal Hospital please call to let us know you have arrived (503.954.3393). Our doors are locked so there is no need to approach the building at this time. 

3.      A care team member will ask you screening health questions and inform you that they are sending you an on-line check-in form via email or text that we will need back before the appointment continues. Please aim to arrive at least 5 minutes before your anticipated appointment time to facilitate this short questionnaire.

4.      Please fill out the check-in form and text us as soon as you have done so to alert the team you are ready for the appointment to continue.

5.      A technician will call you at the phone number provided on the check-in form to discuss the intake questions and reason for your visit. The team member will send you a link to join the video chat via text (if you have indicated that you do not have video capability we will call your phone when the physical examination with the DVM has started). If participating in the video you will wait in the queue until the team member and DVM are ready to start the examination.

6.      Once that part is done the staff member will come collect your pet wearing appropriate PPE.

a.      If you have a dog on a leash our team member will use two of our slip leads to bring the pet into the building and ask you to remove your leash and hold on to it during the appointment.

b.      If you have a cat or dog in a carrier we will ask you to place the carrier in our secure vestibule (back entrance) without actually entering that space. Please stay present outside the vestibule until a team member has retrieved your pet. That door will then be locked to the outside.

7.      The technician will collect vitals and let the doctor know when the exam is ready to begin. We will text you if the doctor is not immediately able to join the exam and provide an expected wait time. To maximize efficiency we will keep your pet in the clinic while waiting. Once the doctor is available they will engage the video chat or your phone so you will be able to participate in the examination. Once the examination is complete the video or phone call will end for the doctor and staff to create a treatment plan.

8.      A technician will call you on the phone with the treatment plan that includes any diagnostics and treatments discussed during the examination to get verbal authorization prior to proceeding.

9.      Once you and the technician finalize what is to be done during this visit the technician will begin the treatments/diagnostics and the reception team will call you to collect payment over the phone if not previously authorized on the check in form.

10.  Once the treatments and or diagnostics are finished we will call you to review any relevant information (ie medications, expectations, diagnostic results) and confirm a plan to reunite you with your pet.

11.  Before the end of the day you will receive an itemized invoice via email with the post-visit summary that reviews the treatments/diagnostics/discussions that were had at the appointment.

12.  After 24 hours you will have access to the full medical record through VitusVet (link in email). We will also be checking in the following day via email.

We, again, thank you for being kind and patient as we continue to do our best to provide you and your pet with the quality of care we strive for. We ask for continued grace and respect as we continue to navigate this uncharted territory together. We are proud to have you as our clients and are thankful for the opportunity to care for your pets.

 

 

MARCH 23, 2020

In an effort to do our part to help protect our community, and quell the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), we are implementing a temporary examination structure that will allow us to continue to provide services for your pets and their healthcare needs, while respecting social distancing as much as possible. We are remaining open to patients being seen for examinations and procedures—and we will arrange curbside services for those of you picking up food and/or medications. As such, we will be locking our doors to limit the number of individuals in the hospital. This means that, for now, we will not be allowing you to stop by for treats or ‘happy visits,’ although please know that we look forward to these visits as much as you and your pets do. Please keep in mind that this is a temporary measure and as soon as we are open as usual, we will let you know.

If you have an examination scheduled, please arrive on time and call us at 503.954.3393 to initiate your appointment. Our care team will discuss the reason for your visit and gather a history on the phone. Next, they will invite you to join a video telemedicine platform via text message that will allow you to still be an active participant in your pet’s examination. They will meet you outside and we will bring your pet in for their visit. Once the examination is finished you will be reunited with your pet while the team gathers discharge instructions and medications. During this time the front desk will call you to arrange for payment via credit card or care credit over the phone.

We will post the policy on our door and on social media so that you will be prepared and know what to expect for your pet’s visit.

Please do not hesitate to reach out with any concerns or questions.

Thank you,

The doctors and staff of Pearl Animal Hospital

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Resources:

Centers for Disease Control

The World Health Organization

Oregon Health Association

Washington Department of Health

American Veterinary Medical Association