How COVID-19 is transforming veterinary practice operations

March 24, 2020
Emily Shiver, CVPM, CCFP

Emily Shiver, CVPM, CCFP, is regional director of operations at the Family Vet Group, headquartered in Chicago, Illinois. Shiver resides in Florida.

Practice manager and regular contributor Emily Shiver shares how her clinic's protocols are evolving during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly changed how veterinary teams offer care to patients and how they interact with clients. With social distancing as the “new normal” in veterinary practices around the world, Emily Shiver, CVPM, CCFP, practice manager at Cleveland Heights Animal Hospital in Lakeland, Florida, says her clinic is offering strictly curbside assistance and only communicates with clients via phone.

“If they’re here for an appointment, the technician goes out [to the parking lot], gets the pet, brings it in and then all communication past that is done via phone,” Shiver told dvm360.

Shiver says her practice is also limiting the quantity of products clients can buy to help prevent a shortage in supplies.

“So, just like [with] toilet paper, we have people calling in wanting 60, 90 days of medications, or four bags, six bags and eight bags of food," she explains. "We’re really, really not on board with that plan."

“We're trying to limit [clients] to 30 days max on prescriptions and alert them that we may not be able take back all the food if they buy eight bags and want to return it in two weeks.

In this video, Shiver talks about these and other changes her practice has made in the past week in an effort to implement social distancing.