Hello to our Grove Veterinary Community. We wanted to reach out to you to give an update on the current clinic procedures and to offer a review of the policies we have put in place to protect our community and our veterinary healthcare team. We felt that an update is necessary as our small coastal community navigates the weight and seriousness of the current local COVID-19 outbreak situation.
Following current guidance and rules for limiting the rate of spread of COVID-19, we must continue with the current Curbside Care practice model. As our community is in the middle of a COVID-19 outbreak, we feel that continuing the Curbside Care program is absolutely necessary.
As a reminder, the Phase-1 status of Lincoln County does not apply to veterinary clinics. As a veterinary healthcare team, we face additional strict guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the Oregon Veterinary Medical Examining Board (OVMEB), Oregon Veterinary Medical Association (OVMA), and the Oregon Health Authority (OHA). These guidelines are set up to protect veterinary teams, clients, and their communities. This additional guidance includes more rules for social distancing, appropriate PPE usage, PPE supply chain maintenance, patient handling, screening for possible patient exposure to COVID-19, and client care.
No one wants to get back to normal more than we do. WITH YOUR HELP, WE ARE MAKING THE CURBSIDE CARE PROGRAM WORK. IT TAKES A COLLECTIVE EFFORT TOGETHER TO MAKE THIS WORK. We are currently operating under a great deal of strain and stress in this current situation, as the Curbside Care practice model is fraught with inefficiencies. We are constantly trying to make the process better and more efficient; we are constantly working to improve your modified experience at the clinic. In several situations, we have incorporated some aspects of telemedicine by utilizing text messages, videos, and emails. Appointments just take longer, as we continue to strive to be complete and thorough in our health care approach to your furry family members.
Rather than having face-to-face conversations, we have been relying on the phones as the primary means of communication; this definitely has its drawbacks but it is working. We have added additional phone lines to try to address the new high phone call volume. We please ask for your patience and understanding; we know that sometimes you can’t through to us on the first try. This is the new normal right now. Wait times at the clinic can be long and are definitely longer than we want, and we can definitely appreciate the potential inconvenience of that situation. To cut down on wait times, we have started scheduling more admission-style appointments. This practice modification has been well received by our clients… you can drop off your furry family member for their appointment, and then we give you a call to discuss case specifics, address concerns, and schedule a pick up time. This has worked well; please be receptive to this change in our processes – our intention is to make the appointment experience easier for everyone.
If you have read this far into the post, thank you! In general, our team has received a great deal of support from our clients on this “new normal.” We appreciate that support more than you could ever know. But our current experiences additionally echo much of what is happening in the country – there are some strong divisions in opinion about COVID-19. Likewise, there is a significant amount of fear, uncertainty, anger, and frustration surrounding the COVID-19 crisis in Lincoln County. Because of our current COVID-19 policies, the entire team also faces some fairly harsh rebukes and some downright mean and negative comments on a daily basis. We please ask for your kindness and consideration. We are all truly in this situation together… Staying TOGETHER and UNIFIED IN PURPOSE in the achievement of our COLLECTIVE GOOD INTENTIONS and GOALS is necessary.
Social distancing inside a veterinary patient exam room is essentially impossible. We don’t want to see anyone get sick in our community; we want to be part of the solution; we want to be part of Lincoln County’s efforts to limit the spread of COVID-19 and to “flatten the curve” here.
We are maintaining this solution-oriented approach and are going to remain cautious during this uncertain time. Again, the additional guidance that veterinary clinics need to be compliant with keeps us in a situation of holding to our current procedures. We do thank you for understanding our stance on this and appreciate your continued support.
The Grove Vet Clinic Team