Questions for round table 5/13/2020
From Tracy at Oliver Animal Hospital:
I was wondering how everyone is planning to Re-open from Curbside and when?
Travis county can stop shelter in place on May 8th but Hays county and others are able to stop this Thursday. So is everyone just opening doors back up the following day to full time allowing clients back in or slowly allowing it, staying closed to clients longer?
Just looking for some opinions on it.
Dana from Star of Texas
We are staying curbside only for a while longer.  Maybe even the whole month of May.  We are in 78748, which has the highest COVID + rates in Austin.  We are discussing if we want to make clients wear a mask because a lot of them are no longer doing so.  We want to slowly start allowing clients back in the hospital in June with sick/emergency visits and see how it goes.  We have a large backyard that we are contemplating using for visits, as well.
We will continue with curbside for the month of May - depending on how the first two weeks go, we may begin to have clients in for selective appts mid month. Our initial rehab visits are typically done with the clients present for the visit so when we start to relax the policy it will be with these visits. Plan to be back open fully in June. We will continue curbside at a client's request passed that time if they are in a vulnerable class. We've been lucky in that our clients have been amazing over the past 6 weeks since we locked the doors. I've only had to fire one who refused to cooperate with our policy, the rest have been so gracious and happy that we're open. 
What a great question!

We plan to stay curbside/contactless until we are seeing a decrease in cases in Travis county and our staff feels comfortable with opening the clinic back up.

We also are implementing the use of platform to allow for face to face communication during their pets appointment instead of doing most communication over the phone.  We truly feel that this platform will be useful to allow us to continue curbside appointments after things normalize.  We will also use this platform for telemedicine visits with patients that meet the VPCR requirement in the state of Texas.

Our support staff and doctors have really enjoyed not having clients in the clinic and while we know we will be letting them back in at some point we want to have an arsenal of tools to still keep a smaller amount of people in the clinic and virtually no clients/patients in our waiting room.

We will continue to do verbal authorization of hospital intake forms as a long term protocol. We will continue to offer curbside appointments as the standard. We will have clients that will come into the clinic continue to wait in their car until an exam room is ready for them to enter.

I was curious to see who else was feeling this way and looking to implement these current protocols as more long term solution instead of returning to the stressful packed lobby and having clients in the exam room for every exam. 

We have also not had much client kick back with our current protocols so that may be another reason we are looking to implement virtual vet visits and telemedicine consults as a regular part of our practice.  
We will be continuing curbside as long as possible.  Our clinic is tiny and there is no way to enforce social distancing with more than about 3 extra people in the building.  We also have a pretty high percentage of older clients and I don't want to be involved in risking their health if I can help it.  
Since we aren't open yet, I have been observing other clinics to see what we will do when we open on May 18th. We plan to do curbside at first for at least the first two weeks, bringing us into June before we will even consider having clients in the building. However, we do have one exam room (our "comfort room") that is accessible from the outside. We will plan to use just that room to let clients in if absolutely needed (like for a euthanasia). This way only that one room will be "contaminated."

We have already been seeing patients and offering Telemedicine visits, so we are kind of already in the swing of things as far as that goes. We have been using Square to send clients invoices virtually so that they can just pay online from the parking lot instead of having receptionists (or myself!) enter cards manually.

I'm sad that we won't get to use our brand new exam rooms but we don't want to open things up way too soon. We will plan to go ahead and see patients for wellness visits in addition to sick/injured pets. Since we are brand new and need to make money, we don't plan on turning anybody away :-)