20 Mar Board recommendations on medical equipment conservation, precautionary procedures
The Kentucky Board of Veterinary Examiners (KBVE) is providing the following additional guidance during the rapidly evolving national response to SARS-CoV-2 / COVID-19. You are receiving this message as an active or pending licensee or certificate holder of the Board.
Cancel all non-essential procedures. This includes delaying spays and neuters. Conservation of medical supplies is critical during this time. In a recent notice from the American Association of Veterinary State Boards (AAVSB), the association noted the following:
Of utmost importance at this critical time is the conservation of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). Federal and state officials are urging healthcare providers and others who use PPE to take actions that will help conserve supplies to increase their availability on the human health side. The veterinary profession will need to do its part, so it is critical that veterinarians think strategically about how to conserve.
As an example, because of the need to conserve PPE, and within the context of professional judgement, veterinarians should consider postponing elective surgical procedures as long as doing so is medically appropriate.
To help veterinarians respond to this critical need to conserve PPE, while continuing to protect their patients and their teams, the AVMA is preparing a guidance document that will be based on recommendations from the FDA, but with some additional commentary to identify those recommendations that may be more directly applicable to veterinary medicine. That document will be posted to the AVMA website… when it is completed.
Per CDC distancing guidelines for medical professionals as well as the Commonwealth’s COVID-19 Healthcare Providers resources, consider implementing the following:
- Screen your employees, and if you are still allowing clients in your clinic or hospital, consider screening clients.
- Scan their temperature. Do they have a fever?
- Do they have a cough?
- Have they traveled on a cruise ship or to a high-density outbreak area since the outbreak started?
- Have they been in contact with anyone who has been confirmed with SARS-CoV-2?
- Consider shift work for employees over lengthened hours to allow for appropriate distancing of at least 6-feet between all staff, and staff and clients.
- Please remember, if one employee tests positive for SARS-CoV-2 and that employee had been working regularly without precautions in place, it is likely you and your whole staff will need to self-isolate, shutting down your business.
When keeping your clinic or hospital open, ensure the highest precautionary practices are in place.
- Sanitize all surfaces between client visits.
- Space your appointments so that there is ample distance (at least 6-feet) between clients, and between clients and staff.
- Consider allowing your clients to remain in their vehicles during the examination / procedures, rather than entering the building. Have them call upon arrival for staff pickup of the patient.
- See the below example protocol put together from what some other veterinarians in Kentucky are currently implementing.
- Staff are screened each day before entering the building.
- Scheduling is done to accommodate for extra time required and to limit excess waiting.
- Be sure to inform all clients in advance:
- If they are concerned about the health of their animals they should call and discuss any concerns with staff before arriving at the clinic.
- All small animals must be in carriers.
- All larger animals must be securely leashed with a well-fitting collar or harness.
- All payments are restricted to credit or debit cards over the phone.
- Client entrance doors are locked; sign on door says “Please return to your vehicle and call the office to alert staff you have arrived.”
- A vet tech speaks with the client over the phone to obtain history and all pertinent information.
- Vet tech or assistant goes to car and retrieves pet and brings into office. Client stays in car.
- Exam is performed by veterinarian.
- The veterinarian calls the client to relay findings and treatment plan.
- Receptionist calls client to check out and payment is done over the phone.
- Tech or assistant returns animal to car and delivers any required medications.
The KVMA will continue to update the veterinary community as information becomes available.