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.

Blog

Mar 16

COVID-19 – Client Guidelines & Updates

3/31/2020
-Please be mindful of our social distancing practices when interacting with staff. Patients should be ready for hand-off when you arrive. Our staff is not permitted to reach into your car.

3/30/2020
Important update regarding Maryland’s Stay-at-Home Order: Per the Order, taking your pet to the veterinarian falls under the category of “Essential Activities”.

As used herein, “Essential Activities” means:  
i. Obtaining necessary supplies or services for one’s self, family, household members, pets, or livestock, including, without limitation: groceries, supplies for household consumption or use, supplies and equipment needed to work from home, laundry, and products needed to maintain safety, sanitation, and essential maintenance of the home or residence; 
ii. Engaging in activities essential for the health and safety of one’s self, family, household members, pets, or livestock, including such things as seeking medical or behavior health or emergency services, and obtaining medication or medical supplies; 
iii. Caring for a family member, friend, pet, or livestock in another household or location, including, without limitation, transporting a family member, friend, pet, or livestock animal for essential health and safety activities, and to obtain necessary supplies and services;    

3/27/2020
Important update regarding clients in the building: We will no longer allow any clients in the hospital for any reason.
It has been incredibly difficult for us to navigate how to provide compassionate end-of-life services for our patients while keeping our staff safe. Due to the extreme seriousness and evolving nature of the COVID-19 crisis, and our continual desire to minimize the exposure risk for our staff, clients, and patients, Friendship will now be performing euthanasia in a designated triage area located within our garage.  Every effort has been made to make the space as private and comfortable as possible given these unique circumstances.
-Family members are permitted to visit with their pet before and after euthanasia services are performed.
-Only one family member may be present with the veterinarian during the procedure.

3/25/2020
-No personal items are permitted to stay with patients who are hospitalized or being seen on an appointment/outpatient procedure (clothing, leashes, blankets, etc.)
-If you or someone in your household has recently traveled or is showing signs of illness, please reschedule your pet’s appointment for May.
If are known to be COVID-19 positive, suspect you might be, and/or live with someone who is and your pet’s visit can not wait, please let us know. We have processes in place to ensure we can still see your pet but we need to keep our staff safe so that we may continue to keep our doors open.
-General surgery will be closed through April. Specialty surgery remains fully available at this time.
-We plan to launch telemedicine in the coming days.

3/24/2020
-Pre-appointment and pre-procedure paperwork must be filled out ahead of your pet’s scheduled visit.
-Ventilator capabilities have been suspended until further notice. We have offered our ventilator to the DC Department of Health, to help with human patients.

3/23/2020
-This is a hard one but it needs clarifying: while we are not currently letting clients in the building, we have made exceptions for those euthanizing their pets. However, due to current CDC and WHO guidelines, we may only permit one person per pet, for these specific circumstances. As pet care providers, pet parents, and pet lovers, we understand how devastating this is protocol is. Please know we are actively working on solutions to this but for the safety of our staff and our continued ability to be here for you, 24/7, this policy must remain in effect until further notice.

3/22/2020
-We are no longer accepting non-medical walk-in procedures, such as nail trims, and anal gland expressions.
-Due to many call-outs and self-quarantines, we are operating with a very limited staff. Please bear with us – we are doing our best!
-IMPORTANT REMINDER TO CLIENTS: Do not congregate on the front patio and please maintain an appropriate distance between our staff and fellow clients.

3/21/2020
HUGE thank you to our client care/call center staff for manning the front lines. They are truly rockstars!

3/20/2020
-Our phone tree has been updated to help expedite the check-in process: Option 1 will continue to prioritize emergency phone calls AND curbside arrival for appointments, discharges, and/or medications.
-Expedited pickup: To help us quickly and efficiently discharge your pet, please prepay online from your car (using your smartphone) or call in to pay by phone.

3/19/2020
From the blog: COVID19 and your Pets, Part 2
(if you missed Part 1, click here)

3/18/2020
Update for deaf and hard of hearing clients:
-For Scheduled Appointments, please LiveChat or call ahead, as usual, to schedule your pets’ appointments.
-For Emergency/Urgent Care/Walk-in, please try to call ahead if you are able.
-FOR BOTH – Our staff will provide you instructions for how to text us when you arrive to the hospital.
-Your visit will proceed, per the 3/16 update, with text communication in place of phone calls.

3/17/2020
-Now have texting capabilities for our deaf and hard of hearing clients who can not conduct appointments, consultations, and patient updates by phone. Please bear with us as we implement this.
-Have added a patio heater for clients waiting outside.
-Will continue curbside pick-up/drop-off per Monday (3/16) update.

3/16/2020
Due to ongoing concern revolving around COVID-19, Friendship will be implementing additional guidelines and protocols to ensure we can continue caring for your pets

Friendship leadership has been meeting around the clock to evaluate the dynamic nature of the situation facing our community. After much thought and consideration, we will not be allowing clients into the hospital, effective March 17th.

All scheduled wellness visits, non-routine exams, surgery/dental drop-offs and specialty appointments:

  • Call the hospital at 202.363.7300 when you arrive. Remain in your vehicle or outside, if on foot.
  • Our call center will check you in by phone, and transfer you to the department your pet is scheduled to see.
  • Our team will collect the necessary information needed to proceed with your pet’s appointment, and then retrieve your pet. 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 over the phone or completed at friendshiphospital.com/payonline

Emergency, urgent care, and walk-ins:

  • Please call ahead if you are able.
  • Proceed to the front patio of the building to check-in at the triage tent during daytime and evening hours. Overnight, please proceed into the lobby area.
  • Our team will ensure we have the best number to reach you and authorization for initial diagnostics if needed. After the doctor has completed the 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 brought to you and payment of your deposit will be collected by phone.
  • If your pet is here for an outpatient visit, take home information and invoices will be emailed.  Payment may be collected over the phone or completed at friendshiphospital.com/payonline

Friendship remains committed to our team and our community. We appreciate your understanding and cooperation as we navigate this together.

ADDITIONAL REMINDERS:
Medication Refills – If your pet needs a medication refill, please call 202.363.7301, email refills@friendshiphospital.com or submit online.  
You can pay for your medications ahead of time at friendshiphospital.com/payonline. When you arrive, please call from outside or from in your car, and a member of our team will run the medication out to you.
When In Doubt, Call! – If you’re unsure whether your pet needs to be seen on emergency, please call us to help you assess the situation. 
If you’re feeling ill or exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19, please call us for guidance as we may have additional protocols to ensure our safety while still meeting your pets’ medical needs.
Handshake Free Zone – Our staff strives to provide outstanding in-person communication. However, at this time we feel that it is best for the safety of our entire community to limit face-to-face communication and physical contact, such as shaking hands.
Our hospital is continuing to disinfect and deep clean throughout the day and overnight.  We will continue to keep you updated as any additional precautions become necessary. 
Thank you for your help and understanding during this ever-evolving situation.

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