March 19th, 2020


URGENT For Oregon Hospitals: All Non-Emergency Veterinary Procedures Suspended

March 19, 2020 Update: The OVMA outlines the provision of the Oregon Hospital Non-Emergency procedures.

On March 18, 2020, Oregon Gov. Kate Brown ordered veterinarians in the state to cease all non-emergency procedures as a way of preserving supplies. The orders are related to Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) that the human health care industry is in need of to treat the rapidly rising COVID-19 cases. The PPE included in these orders are masks, gloves, and gowns.

While it is unclear at this time what constitutes a “non-emergency procedure”, these orders are effective immediately so you will need to work with your team to identify procedures that will be impacted by these orders.

Here is a brief list of common services that may be impacted by this to help you get a start on your list:

  • Ovariohysterectomy
  • Castration
  • Dental Prophylaxis
  • Clean procedures like mass removals
  • Ancillary services like anal gland expressions and ear cleanings

Once you have your services identified, you will then need to have your reception team start calling these scheduled appointments to reschedule them out. It is unclear at this time how long these orders will remain in place, so you may want to consider pushing out these appointments by 6 to 8 weeks, with the understanding that they may need to be rescheduled again if these orders are still in place in 6 to 8 weeks.

To help minimize client frustration and staff confusion, we would HIGHLY recommend creating reminder codes designated specifically to COVID related schedule adjustments/recalls.

For example:

  • COVID-D = COVID Dental Recall for 5/1/2020
  • COVID-SX = COVID Surgery Recall for 5/1/2020

Setting all of the recalls in your practice management software system for the same date will allow you to look at them as a whole, and then prioritize or divide and conquer the list. You can also enter notes pertaining to each recall, such as “high priority–client very worried,” etc., and the info is retained in the medical record.

Please feel free to utilize this PDF spreadsheet to track the appointments impacted by these orders. We have also prepared this email for you to send to your clients.