Hertfordshire-based Davies Veterinary Specialists reports that the coronavirus pandemic has forced it to implement various procedural changes which it now thinks may make the hospital more efficient in the future. 

One of the most significant changes has been the introduction of video consultations which have allowed clinicians to continue to see patients in need whilst maintaining social distancing.

At the start of lockdown, Davies split many of its service teams into two, which alternate weekly between consulting remotely from home and operating on-site.

The practice says that continual communication between the two teams has enabled the efficient triage of referred cases, whilst the ongoing management of less urgent cases is discussed with clients and referring vets until the patient can be seen on site.

Davies says the new system has been particularly effective for its orthopaedics service, which has seen an increasing demand for video consultations.

Jan Janovec, European Specialist in Small Animal Surgery and Head of orthopaedics said: "Every challenge is an opportunity. 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.

“Despite lockdown cats continue to explore outdoors and get injured and dogs continue to chase squirrels and birds! 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.”

Once lockdown has ended Jan says that he and his team intend to review what they have learnt and re-evaluate all aspects of the orthopaedic service process to make the clinician, client, patient and referring vet interactions even better.

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