Davies adapts to lockdown and believes it may enhance future function
Davies Veterinary Specialists
Orthopaedics, Veterinary Professionals
26th May 2020
Davies Veterinary Specialists, has revealed that by adapting practice processes during lockdown, clinicians are continuing to help numerous pets, and that new methods may result in even better hospital function in the future.
To maintain a balance between keeping clinicians safe and the unavoidable need for emergency veterinary procedures during the pandemic, Davies, the small animal veterinary referral hospital based in Hertfordshire, made substantial changes across the entire hospital. The lynchpin is video consultations, which have allowed vets to continue to see patients in need whilst protecting both clinicians and clients.
Many of the service teams were immediately split into two when lockdown commenced. They now alternate on a weekly basis between consulting remotely from home and operating onsite. Continual communication between the two teams has enabled the efficient triage of referred cases, ensuring that pets in need of urgent treatment can be seen as soon as possible. The ongoing management of less urgent cases is discussed with clients and referring vets until the patient can be seen onsite once restrictions have been lifted.
The new system has been particularly effective for Davies’ Orthopaedics service who have seen an increasing demand for orthopaedic video consultations, resulting in further consultation slots being added to meet the requirement.
“Every challenge is an opportunity,” says Jan Janovec, European Specialist in Small Animal Surgery and Head of Orthopaedics. “The current adverse circumstances are forcing us to re-evaluate the ways we have traditionally worked, and I believe that this “audit” will result in new and better ways of delivering care to our patients.”
Given that pets don’t understand the implications of the Covid-19 situation, the Orthopaedics service at Davies has also been performing emergency surgery on an almost daily basis. These patients are seen within 24 hours of the initial contact.
“Despite lockdown cats continue to explore outdoors and get injured and dogs continue to chase squirrels and birds!” explains Jan. “Puppies and small dogs continue to get sat on or stepped on by their family members and so they keep us busy mending broken legs, fixing dislocated joints, and so on.”
Onsite, Davies is ensuring minimal risk and maximum safety for clients and staff at all times. ”We are fortunate with the amount of space we have at Davies, not only for clients bringing their pets to the hospital but also for the hospital staff,” says Jan. “This makes social distancing relatively easy to achieve. In situations where working closely is unavoidable, such as obtaining blood samples, administration of some medications, induction of general anaesthetic, or performing some surgical procedures, careful planning, time-efficiency, and judicious use of PPE have been the key.”
Once lockdown has ended, Jan and his team intend to review what they have learnt and re-evaluate all aspects of the Orthopaedic service process to make interactions between the clinician, client, patient and referring vet even better.
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