How to Alter Your Veterinary Clinic to Accommodate Curbside Appointment Services

With recent events having caused most Berks county veterinarians to alter their facility to accommodate curbside drop-off and pick-up, the way you’ve been caring for your furry patients and communicating with their families has been dramatically altered.

At DESCCO Design & Construction, we want to let you know that our business recognizes and understands the unique challenges you and other medical professionals in the Berks County area face everyday.

In order to help make this transition easier for you, we’ve compiled a comprehensive list of renovation recommendations and bits of advice that can help you keep your practice performing well throughout the remainder of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Proper Communication With Clients

If your veterinary office has transitioned or is about to transition to concierge service, the first thing you should do is notify your clients. You can do this via phone calls, texts, website messages, and social media.

Be sure you are clear on exactly what has changed about your clients’ usual visit, including the fact that you are implementing curbside drop-offs and pick-ups for appointments and medication refills.

One great way you can be sure that your client’s understand the new routine is by installing a large, vibrant banner sign that highlights the office phone number with instructions to call or text upon arrival. This will make it easier for customers to contact your office in a timely and efficient manner.

Once the animal is in the exam room, it’s important to communicate regularly with the owner as if they were in the exam room with you and their beloved pet. This not only makes it easier to discuss your patient’s issues with their owner, but it also allows for a bit of small talk, which you can use to reduce stress and ease the anxiety of your client.

In addition, if a patient is being hospitalized, you will need to inform your client that no visitations will be permitted. Following an examination, remember to thoroughly discuss treatment options and provide recommendations for moving forward, and do not forget to establish consent for treatment.

During patient discharge, have a team member notify the pet owner about their pet’s discharge status. This is also the time to discuss prescription medication needs, medication refills, and follow-up appointment scheduling.

Ensure Your Finances Are in Order Under New Operation Standards

Obviously, you got into the veterinary profession because you love animals, not for the financial side of things. However, if you want to keep treating animals to the best of your ability, then it is important not to lose focus of your finances and business structure under modified clinic operation standards.

Before jumping headfirst into a concierge-heavy model, ensure that your practice has the ability and the equipment necessary to handle all registrations, initial deposits, communications, treatment authorizations, and discharges via the phone.

Payments will need to be made entirely by card, Care Credit (My Pay Provider), or check. Explain to your clients that your veterinary practice will be unable to accept cash payments during the ongoing pandemic.

Renovate Your Parking Lot to Make Concierge Service Easier

Once you’ve determined that a pet needs to visit your veterinary office or animal hospital for care, you will need to be able to quickly identify and retrieve the animal from the client’s vehicle. In the event of a veterinary emergency, the timeliness and accuracy of this is incredibly important.

You can reduce the risk of contact by designating one specific staff member to meet the client at their car and bring the animal inside. These staff members can be changed on a shift-by-shift basis, but it’s important to limit the number of employees responsible for this task.

To make this process as easy as possible, DESCCO recommends numbering all parking stalls in your parking area and notifying your customer of their assigned space. This way, vet staff can rely on this assigned number rather than arbitrary identifiers like vehicle make, model, and color, which can be difficult to identify quickly.

If the treatment provided needs to begin immediately, the pet owner will have to decide whether they’d like to wait outside during the treatment or if they’d like to leave the premises. It is important that both parties communicate this clearly.

In the event that an owner does wish to say, it doesn’t hurt to renovate a designated area of your parking lot to act as a mobile waiting room of sorts, rather than sacrificing closer numbered spots that other clients may require.

Renovate Parts of Your Building to Make Medication Refills Simpler

If your client’s pet requires specialized food or medication pick-ups or refills, it is important that your veterinary clinic has been altered to accommodate this service with little need for person-to-person contact.

While numbered parking stalls can certainly help with this, you can make this even easier by installing drive-thru services or drawer transfer similar to those that are frequently found in human pharmacies.

No matter what type of medical office you own, DESCCO Design & Construction is here to provide the highest-quality advice, design, and construction services in the Berks County area. If you or someone you know owns a medical facility and is looking to alter their office in order to accomodate COVID-19 regulations, don’t hesitate to contact us today for a consultation! We look forward to assisting you!