COVID-19 has been a unique challenge for all of us. As many of you have experienced at the office over the past few weeks, we have been adjusting our client experience gradually to meet the standards set by the Governor, the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), and the Indiana Veterinary Medical Association (IVMA), for which we are thankful for your patience and understanding during this unprecedented time.
Over the past two weeks, we have made several adjustments to our normal course of business. Initially, some of you may have received a phone call to delay elective procedures like spays and neuter surgeries. While this was a national suggestion by the AVMA initially, it was now part of Governor Holcombe’s latest executive order to restrict elective procedures on March 30th. This move was to conserve Personal Protective Equipment (PPE’s) for our practice to be able to continue to provide care to your pets for as long as we can during this time of uncertainty, such that we don’t order more equipment that will be needed in the Medical field over the coming weeks.
As the guidance by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) began to instruct the country on social distancing, again followed suit. We started, at first, to restrict access into the building by closing our lobby, limiting exam room visits to only one person per visit, and finally by doing curbside visits, where your pet will be examined in the building, but our clients are waiting comfortably in their cars. We are still working out the kinks in this program, so please bear with us as we develop this program on the fly.
In an effort to implement all of the resources available to us, we are now offering telemedicine appointments through Skype. While this method of practice is somewhat limited in Veterinary Medicine, as we can’t ask our patients where it hurts over the internet, there are certain conditions that may be adequately triaged with this method of care. Please ask our Client Service Representatives when you schedule an appointment if your pet’s needs would be potentially met by a teleconference appointment.
Finally, in an effort to meet the Governor’s order to quarantine in place, we have restricted our business hours such that we can still meet the needs of our community, but not encourage non-essential services. This may mean that we ask you to schedule non-emergent services such as nail trims, grooming, and some wellness appointments to some later date while we are under this guidance.
Our overall mission is to provide exceptional care to our patients and our clients. We want to continue this mission for as long as we possibly can. While many of these changes are being implemented because of recommendations from the government and our professional associations, they are changes we believe in to protect our community, both staff and client alike. As more information becomes available, we will continue to adapt to be able to provide the exceptional care we strive to provide for you and your pet.
On a happier note, many of you may be thinking about our new building. As you drive over Vale Park Road, you’ll see our name up on the back of the new building. Our contractor reports that we are 80% complete at this point. While we aren’t sure how the current situation will affect completion of the project, we hope to be on track for a late spring/early summer opening! Once it is clear this whole affair is behind us and we can have a large group gather again, please keep your eyes open for a grand opening to our new location!
In closing, we hope that you and your family are well, are staying healthy, and we look forward to being your other family doctor for a long time to come.
Drs. Mary Ann Sheller and Brent Lakia