Important Information For Veterinary Referral Associates Clients Regarding COVID-19 Virus

Veterinary Referral Associates is committed to keeping our offices healthy and safe for all of our patients, clients, staff, and family members. In light of growing concerns about the spread of COVID-19, Gov. Hogan has issued an amended executive order to close all bars, restaurants, fitness centers, spas and theaters in Maryland, effective at 5:00pm today. Effective immediately, gatherings of more than 50 people, including social, community, spiritual, religious, recreational, leisure, and sporting gatherings, are prohibited at all locations and venues. In light of these recent developments, VRA will be making the following changes to our protocols.

PATIENT INTAKE PROTOCOL

Effective March 16, 2020 at 6:00p we will be changing our patient intake protocol for all non-emergency appointments. In the interest of public health, we kindly ask you to only make essential veterinary appointments at this time.

If any pet owners refuse to follow these new protocols, they will be asked to reschedule for when the guidelines are no longer in place.

Our scheduled appointment/procedure patient intake protocol is as follows:

  • Upon arrival in our parking lot, clients will remain in their vehicle with their pet.
  • Clients will call our main hospital number, 301-926-3300, to notify us that you are here and give a description of your vehicle.
  • A technician and/or assistant will come to the client’s vehicle. The technician will obtain a history while the pet is brought inside for evaluation.
  • Once the pet has been examined by one of our doctors, the client will receive a phone call to discuss recommendations and a treatment plan. Verbal consent for treatment and any outpatient estimates will be authorized over the phone.
  • A Patient Care Coordinator will then obtain payment information via phone and an invoice and all discharge instructions will be sent to you via email.
  • A technician or assistant will return your pet to you.

Our EMERGENCY VISIT patient intake protocol, is as follows:

  • Upon your arrival, immediately check-in at the front desk.
  • A technician and/or assistant will come to triage your pet and will obtain a brief history.
  • Your pet will be escorted to our main treatment room to be examined and monitored during the wait time. We ask that all clients wait in their vehicles while their pet is being examined. Rest assure, your pet will be housed and monitored in our main hospitalization area with our Emergency and Critical Care Team.
  • You will be asked to provide the best phone number to contact you after one of our emergency doctors have examined your pet.
  • Once the pet has been examined by one of our emergency doctors, you will receive a phone call to discuss recommendations and a treatment plan. Verbal consent for treatments and diagnostics and any outpatient estimates will be authorized over the phone.
  • If your pet has a serious medical condition that requires hospitalization, we will ask you to come in and sign all authorizations and leave any financial deposits required.

Visitation Hours will be temporarily suspended. All visitation will be limited to the immediate family of hospitalized patients whose prognosis is imminently terminal. Only the family of pets that our doctors have deemed are in the end of life stages will be allowed visitation.

WHAT WE’RE ASKING OF YOU

Our hospital is a no handshake zone – our staff is practicing social distancing and maintaining a 6ft distance from other people – that means our clients as well.

Wash your hands or use hand sanitizer immediately upon entering our office.

We urge our clients to follow CDC guidelines including self-quarantine when prudent.

We are asking all clients who have COVID-19 like symptoms to reschedule any appointments or send another authorized agent to present their pet to our hospital.

If you or members of your family have been required or asked to be quarantined for any reason, or test positive for COVID-19, and you have visited our facility within 72 hours, we kindly ask you to please alert our hospital.

As always, please plan ahead for your pets.  We recommend having a 2 week supply of food, medications, and sanitary supplies, as well as an identified friend or family member who can help care for your pet if needed, in the event you or a member of your family becomes ill.

It is important to note that COVID-19 is not thought to be a threat to your pets at this time.  Thank you for your anticipated cooperation during these challenging times.

In good health,

Veterinary Referral Associates