What to expect at ACCESS Specialty Animal Hospitals during the Coronavirus pandemic.
People isolated at home with pets, plus heaps of new pet owners have resulted in an unprecedented surge in patients. Add the coronavirus impact to veterinary staff, and resources are being pushed to the edge. We’re in the same boat, and like many in our industry, we have to adapt to continue providing the best level of patient care and client services. Here’s a little of what we’re doing:
Visits to our Emergency Department
We know that a visit to an emergency department can be stressful for you and your pet, especially during an active pandemic. This is why we’ve put this plan in place to help keep you comfortable and safe during your visit. Please note that just as in human emergencies, patients are cared for based on the severity of illness or injury, rather than order of appearance, and we appreciate your patience and understanding.
1. When you arrive, you’ll be met at the hospital entrance by an ACCESS team member who will explain what to expect, and who will have your pet assessed. (Note: Due to very high caseloads, and possible long wait times, if your pet is non-critical, we may schedule you at a later date or refer you to an alternative hospital.)
2. Please wait in your car for a doctor’s assistant, or a doctor, to phone you to discuss treatment options.
3. If your pet needs bloodwork, x-rays, etc., or needs to be hospitalized, we will email you a treatment plan, after which a doctor’s assistant will phone you to review the plan, and costs, and ask for your authorization to proceed.
4. If your pet needs to be hospitalized, you are able to leave once we receive your authorization via email, and an initial deposit. If your pet is able to go home after medical treatment, a client care representative will phone you to help with check-out.
Avian & Exotic Pets
(ACCESS – Los Angeles only.) If you have brought an exotic pet for emergency care, your pet will be evaluated by a doctor in our emergency department. If additional or specialized care is required, we will happily help you schedule an appointment with our Avian & Exotics department for a later date.
Time / Waiting
As with human emergency rooms, the time between each step can vary based on many factors and is often unpredictable. We know waiting can be difficult and we will do our best to respect your time while providing the best possible care for your pet.
Please call on arrival. A doctor’s assistant from the designated department will come out to your vehicle with your pet, medications, and discharge instructions. If discharge instructions are not available, we will email them to you as soon as possible, and/or arrange a phone discharge appointment with the doctor.
Please call ahead to arrange, and/or confirm meds are ready, and then call on your arrival so a doctor’s assistant can come out to your vehicle with medications and instructions.
For safety reasons, we are currently limiting in-hospital visits for stable pets who will be going home soon. For more critical patients, visits may be allowed – for no more than 15 minutes – with enforced sanitation protocols.
Although we follow the similar hygiene and infection control procedures as human hospitals, we work as hard as possible to exceed the most stringent guidelines to help ensure the ongoing well-being of our staff, pet owners, and of course, your pets. This includes stringent 24×7 use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), consistent ‘deep-cleaning,’ and maintenance of safe social distancing guidelines.
As a friendly reminder, due to hygiene sensibilities, and in many cases the law, we ask that you assist by adhering to the following:
- To minimize the risk of spreading the virus, please wear a mask when interacting with our staff.
- While we love hugs, at this time, please maintain good social distancing.
- Regular hand-washing, and/or use of hand sanitizer is an awesome way to reduce the spread and beat the virus so we can get back to hugging.
These are challenging times which can be difficult and exhausting for many, including our staff, so your patience and understanding is always appreciated. Although there are many factors, some of which are unpredictable when it comes to treating pets, rest assured that we’ll always do our best to respect your time while providing you with the level of care and service for which we are known. You matter to us.
Thank you for choosing ACCESS Specialty Animal Hospitals, and please don’t hesitate to reach out for further information.