As the weather begins to heat up and DHM's are still in place and or starting to lift, here are some recommendations from AVMA regarding managing patient care while social distancing.
Admit pet owners directly into examination rooms, while spacing appointments sufficiently far apart that backups don’t happen. Can also have limited in-lobby, direct-into-exam room approach. Put tape on the floor to direct pet owners where they can sit and wait. Wipe surfaces (chairs, armrests) between each client.
Have pet owners drop off their animals, rather than waiting. Portable crates can help hold additional animals if insufficient kennels are available.
Appointment backups cause longer wait-times for clients in their car; longer wait-times also result for owners of animals where problems are discovered during exams and further care is needed at that time.
For routine appointments, pre-review records so that it is known what is needed and have related equipment ready to go so that appointments are not delayed by gathering that.
Schedule known ill animals as drop-offs so that the time needed to work them up is readily available.
If an animal is identified that needs additional work-up, admit for that workup and have the owner pick up the animal later; that way the workup can be interspersed with later appointments and those appointments are less likely to be delayed.
Consider assigning roles to veterinarians/technicians to assist in collecting history and providing follow-up instructions so that veterinarians can keep up with appointments.
Have coolers of bottled water available for clients who are waiting for their animals.
The Nebraska Veterinary Medical Association is the recognized voice of veterinary medicine in Nebraska. We organize local and statewide events for professional development, networking, and communications.