Blog

Mar 16

COVID-19 – Client Guidelines & Updates


Update August 5th, 2021:

  • As of August 9th, our urgent care and emergency service will move to partial opening.
  • One person may accompany a patient into the building for urgent care, on a case-by-case basis, as hospital capacity allows.
  • All walk-in urgent care/emergency visits must call to check in. Patients will be triaged outside.
  • For select critical cases or surgical cases, when the doctor is ready to see the patient, one person may accompany the pet inside, if hospital capacity allows.
  • Masks must be worn at all times.
  • Clients must stay near the premises for the duration of the patient’s visit unless otherwise directed by the doctor treating the patient.
  • Clients may visit hospitalized patients once every 3 days.
  • All visits must be limited to one family member, with a maximum visit time of 15 minutes. No additional family members can visit at this time.
  • Clients may use the lobby to check-out, leave a deposit, or wait for medications.

Update July 8th, 2021:

  • As of July 12th, one person may accompany a patient into the building for primary care services only. Clients will be escorted into the building after check-in has been initiated. Masks are required at all times.
  • Scheduled specialty appointments, as well as walk-in/urgent care cases will remain curbside until further notice.
  • Limited in-hospital visits will be available for critical or unstable patients.
  • Reopening to full capacity will be a dynamic process with a phased approach: Primary Care visits will open first, followed by our urgent care department, and finally individual specialty departments.
  • Reopening status is subject to change in the event of breakthrough covid cases or increased hospitalization rates for our area.

Friendship remains committed to our team and our community.

While we remain fully operational, client entry is extremely limited.

Primary care patients may be accompanied by one person and must be personally escorted into the building by our staff.

If you see a client entering or exiting our building without a pet, they may be saying their final goodbyes. Please be respectful.

We appreciate your understanding and cooperation as we navigate this together.

If you are feeling ill or exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19 and your pet needs to be seen on an urgent or emergency basis, please let us know so we may implement additional measures and protocols to ensure our safety, while still meeting your pets’ medical needs.

If you are feeling ill or exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19 and your pet is scheduled for an elective or wellness visit, please reschedule as soon as possible.

Emergency, urgent care, and walk-ins:

  • Please call ahead if you are able: 202-363-7300
  • Upon arrival, text or call 202-363-7300, option 1.
  • Our staff will promptly retrieve your pet and obtain authorization for initial diagnostics, if needed.
  • After the doctor has completed an assessment and/or exam, he or she will contact you by phone to discuss next steps. 
  • If your pet is going to be admitted to the hospital, an estimate will be emailed to you and your deposit paid online.
  • If your pet is here for an outpatient visit, take home information and invoices will be emailed.  
  • Deposits and payments will be collected via friendshiphospital.com/payonline
  • Doctors and staff will update you on your pet’s progress. Due to high caseload and high call volume, we ask that clients not call for updates. Unexpected interruptions divert attention from our patients and can cause significant delays in workflow.

All scheduled wellness visits, non-routine exams:

  • Text “ready to check in” when you arrive and proceed to the patio.
  • Our team will escort you into the building for your appointment. Masks must be worn at all times.
  • Take home information and invoices will be emailed.  Payment may be collected at friendshiphospital.com/payonline or finalized before leaving with your pet or while waiting for medication.

Surgery/dental drop-offs, tech appointments and/or specialty appointments:

  • Text “ready to check in” when you arrive. Remain in your vehicle or outside, if on foot.
  • Our team will collect necessary information to proceed and retrieve your pet. Please exit your vehicle to assist in transfer and wear a mask when interacting with staff.
  • If your pet is being seen on an out-patient basis, you can remain in your car or nearby and wait for follow-up from the veterinarian.
  • If your pet is going to be admitted to the hospital, an estimate will be brought to you and payment of your deposit will be collected by phone.
  • Discharges will be done over the phone prior to returning your pet to your vehicle, along with any medication to go home.
  • Take home information and invoices will be emailed.  Payment may be collected at friendshiphospital.com/payonline

Deaf and Hard of Hearing Community:

  • To schedule an appointment, please LiveChat or call ahead, as usual.
  • Emergency/Urgent Care/Walk-in, please call ahead if you are able.
  • Our staff will provide you instructions for how to text us when you arrive at the hospital.
  • Appointment and hospitalization updates will be conducted via text.

Important Reminders:

  • Masks – Must be donned during patient hand-off.
  • Patient Hand-Off – Please have your pet ready for hand-off to our staff. Our team members are not permitted to reach into your vehicle.
  • Social Distancing – Please follow social distancing guidelines and avoid congregating on the front patio. 

Links & Resources:

Inside Friendship:

Since closing our doors to clients in Mid-March, things inside Friendship have also changed a bit. Below are ways we have incorporated social distancing guidelines and safety protocols into our day-to-day routines.

  • Spaced out work desks: With no clients in the building, we have been able to utilize lobby space, exam rooms, and common areas as temporary desks and offices. Some workstations in populated areas, such as our doctors and administrative offices, have been temporarily shut down to ensure appropriate distancing.
  • Administrative Telework: Leading up to and through peak pandemic in our area, many administrative duties including human resources, marketing, inventory management, and client care tasks moved to remote/home telework. This continues to be evaluated and adjusted depending on the needs of the hospital and the safety of our staff.
  • Increased PPE: While clients are not allowed in the building, our staff continue to see clients for patient euthanasia. This procedure has been moved to a ventilated outside area, where clients are required to don masks and staff are required to don masks, face shields, gowns, and gloves.
  • Limited social contact: In addition to fewer employees in the building, and spaced out workstations, we implemented a hiring freeze and travel-based self-quarantines, leading up to and throughout peak pandemic in our area. This continues to be evaluated and adjusted depending on the needs of the hospital and the safety of our staff.
  • Clients refusing to don masks or respect social distancing guidelines will not be seen.

Friendship provides state of the art, comprehensive services for our clients and patients. But, more than that, we provide a caring team who understand the unique human-animal bond. View Our Services

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COVID-19 Update: Friendship is currently open. Due to ongoing concern revolving around COVID-19, we have implemented additional guidelines and protocols to ensure we can continue caring for your pets. Visit friendshiphospital.com/covid19 for the latest update.