March 19, 2020
It’s been a whirlwind of a week to say the least. We’ve all been doing our best to keep up with the changing landscape resulting from COVID-19. Our home office team has been getting used to working entirely remotely and coordinating via daily phone calls, but it’s our teams at the practice level who have had to make the most major adjustments of all.
As those on the front lines, our practice teams have been putting their own worries aside to be of service to others and help pets in need. They’ve had to adjust their policies based on ever evolving recommendations and regulations (and articulate those policy changes to their clients) and go to great lengths to ensure the safety of themselves, their clients, and their team members.
The way they’ve adapted during this time is nothing short of amazing, so we wanted to share some examples with you:
Oneonta Veterinary Hospital - Oneonta, New York
Fun fact: Oneonta Veterinary Hospital was a Pizza Hut in a past life. Even though the inside of their building was gutted and renovated, the drive-through window remained. When the Oneonta team learned about the CDC’s social distancing recommendations, they had a collective “aha” moment and decided to make use of the drive-through. To keep their clients and their team members safe, they’re now implementing a drive-through system for medication and prescription food pick ups. 10 points for creativity!
New Palestine Veterinary Clinic - New Palestine, Indiana
As it turns out, foyers are good for more than just wiping off your boots when you’re trudging through the snow to get your pet to their appointment on time in the winter. New Palestine Veterinary Clinic made great use of theirs by turning into a safe receiving area. To practice safe distancing, they’re only allowing employees in their hospital for the time being, so they’re having owners hand off their pets in the foyer to reduce the risk of potential infection within their workspace. It’s a wonderful idea that’s been very well received.
St. Francis Animal Hospital - North Huntingdon, Pennsylvania
Like many other practices, St. Francis Animal Hospital has adopted the curbside service approach. Theirs differs from New Palestine’s in that they’re having clients call when they get parked and sending out a staff member to receive pets with an appointment. At that time, the owner receives a laminated number to place in their car and their pet receives a corresponding name tag with the associated name tag so they can easily be returned once the appointment is finished. Brilliant.
Guilderland Animal Hospital - Altamont, New York
Guilderland Animal Hospital's front-facing windows let in a ton of natural light, but they also come in handy for making safe food and medication exchanges. If Oneonta were a restaurant with a drive-through system, think of Guilderland like one with a window that you can walk up to order at. Both are pretty nifty and help keep people safe.
Memorial Veterinary Pet Care Hospital - Houston, Texas
When Texas implemented the no dine-in policy, Memorial Veterinary Pet Care Hospital’s hospital manager, Kathleen, sprung into action. She detailed a new safety policy for her practice and headed out to the UPS store where she created printouts and had a stop sign made to hang at the front door with accompanying directions. She reports her clients have been very accepting and that her team hasn’t received a single complaint. “All in all,” she says, “Our spirits are still high.”
We're thankful for our practice teams every day but especially right now. Read our #thankfulthursday Facebook thread to see what they're thankful for at the moment.