Office Protocols & Confirmation and Cancelation Policies
The Covid-19 pandemic has forced us all to find ways to live life and seek and provide care for ourselves, our families and our pets in safe and sometimes creative ways. At Berwick Animal Hospital, we have enacted policies that provide exceptional care to our patients and clients while upholding federal and local recommendations for community health and safety.
PLEASE REVIEW THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION PRIOR TO YOUR PET'S APPOINTMENT.
Exam Room Visits
WE ARE NOW OFFERING IN-CLINIC VETERINARIAN SERVICES, but please check in by phone when you arrive
In most cases, we are able to bring you and your pet in the building for all veterinarian visits. We do ask however that when you arrive for the appointment, instead of walking in the front door with your pet, that you call the front desk to notify us of your arrival. At that time, a staff member will find out what car you are in and if you would like in-hospital or curbside service and get your appointment checked in. Once our medical team is ready to start your appointment, a medical team staff member will come out to your car or instruct you by phone to meet a staff member at the front door. You and your pet will then be escorted to an exam room to begin your appointment.
All of our in-clinic visits include face to face consultations, however due to limited space within our exam rooms, we are still conducting examinations, diagnostic testing, sample collection and treatments in our hospital area where there is a much larger space. When a staff member informs you that we will take your pet "to the back" they are referring to the magical place behind the wall of your exam room known as the Treatment or Hospital Area. All of our supplies and medications, tools and treats are in our hospital area along with extra helping hands and a lot more breathing room. We are utilizing this resource as the pandemic continues as a way to safeguard our clients and staff from any unnecessary exposure to illness or disease.
We continue to offer curbside service as an option for clients who have tested positive or have recently been exposed to the virus.
If you opt for curbside service, however, we ask that you remain inside your vehicle and on the premises for the duration of your pet's appointment. Please do not leave the clinic property without first notifying a staff member and signing the appropriate release forms.
It is crucial that you remain accessible by phone for our staff to contact you regarding your pet during a curbside appointment. At check-in, provide the cell phone number you will have with you in the car, and a back up phone number if there are other individuals with you. If you lose service or access to your phone at any time during the appointment, please let us know by knocking on the front door and informing a staff member.
COVID-19 Disclaimer and Instructions
In accordance with Georgia Senate Bill 359, please be advised of the following WARNING:
Any person entering the premises waives all civil liability against this premises’ owner and operator for any injuries caused by the inherent risk associated with contracting COVID-19 at public gatherings, except for gross negligence, willful and wanton misconduct, reckless infliction of harm, or intentional infliction of harm, by the individual or entity of the premises.
A restroom is available for clients with patients inside the building. Hand washing and/or the use of sanitizer is encouraged to help prevent the spread of disease.
Please do not enter the building if you are sick in any way with symptoms including but not limited to: fever, coughing or sneezing, headache, gi symptoms, loss of taste or if you are in any way immune-compromised. If you are high-risk for contracting the disease or if you or a family member have been or MIGHT have been exposed to the COVID-19 virus in the previous 14 days, we ask that you do not enter the building.
If you have a known exposure, please wear a face mask when speaking with staff members and when you are within 6 feet of a staff member or another client visiting the clinic.
Appointment Confirmation Policies
Appointments must be confirmed through our automated system, or manually by phone, text message or email no less than 48 BUSINESS hours prior to your appointment. Appointments not confirmed within 24 hours may be forfeited allowing them to be opened up for other clients/patients in need.
If you check in for your appointment MORE THAN 10 minutes past the appointment time, you may be asked to reschedule. You will also be charged a re-booking fee of a minimum of $75 per pet. In some cases, we may be able to accommodate your pet as a work-in or medical staycare if you have arrived late. Please speak with a staff member about these options. If we are unable to accommodate due to appointment volume and appointment flow, you will be asked to reschedule and subject to a re-booking fee.
Appointment No-Show and Cancellation Policy (non-surgical appointments)
Confirmed and uncancelled appointments that are missed or changed less than 48 BUSINESS-hours prior to their scheduled time will forfeit any deposit placed and will incur a rescheduling fee of a minimum of $75 per pet depending on the appointment type. This fee is payable at the time of reschedule or prior to the scheduling of your next visit or checkout. Fees not paid within 1 month will be billed by mail.
PLEASE BE SURE TO UPDATE YOUR EMAIL AND TEXTING PHONE NUMBER AT THE TIME OF BOOKING TO ENSURE YOU RECEIVE VITAL APPOINTMENT COMMUNICATIONS!
Our office will NOT take responsibility for missed appointments due to incorrect email or phone contact information in our system.
Surgical / Anesthetic Procedure Appointment Policy
All surgeries must be confirmed 7 days prior to the appointment and have a 50% deposit paid to guarantee the appointment. In most cases, a staff member will reach out to you by phone a week before your appointment if you have not already contacted us. At this time your appointment will be confirmed and a non-refundable deposit equal to 50% of the procedure's estimated cost will be taken.
Surgical appointments can be changed up to 1 week ahead of time after a $100 rebooking fee is paid. One change ONLY is allowed per procedure. Surgeries cancelled or changed less than 1 week prior to their scheduled time will incur a rebooking fee of a minimum of $250 and up to 50% of the estimated procedure cost, whichever is greater. Surgical Appointment no-shows will forfeit their deposit without exception.
New Client & New Patient Appointment Policies
We are currently taking new clients & patients on a case by case basis, BUT have enacted the following policies:
Medical Records must be received and reviewed prior to appointment booking. This allows our medical team and veterinarian to properly assess your pet's medical needs and prepare in advance for their treatment.
New Client, single-pet appointments = A $75 non-refundable deposit is required at the time of booking. This deposit will cover the cost of your pet's New Patient Establishment Fee. Additional charges will be presented at the time of your appointment. Please ask a staff member to provide wellness care options or sick care package pricing prior to scheduling.
Appointment changes must be made MORE THAN 48 business-hours prior to the appointment in order to keep your deposit. No more than one appointment change is allowed before deposit will be forfeited. Changes made less than 48 business-hours in advance will forfeit your deposit. An additional deposit will be required prior to rescheduling.
No new client double pet appointments are being booked at this time.
New Client Double-pet appointments = A $150 non-refundable deposit is required at the time of booking. Appointment changes can be made no less than 48 hours prior to the appointment to keep deposit, and no more than one appointment change is allowed before deposit is forfeited
PLEASE NOTE: We are unable to accommodate triple-pet appointments at any time.
At times, we do experience longer than usual appointment lengths and wait times. We uphold rigorous safety standards and, functioning at limited capacity, have needed to manage a higher-than-normal case load. Please communicate with our staff member if you have a serious time constraint prior to making your appointment so we can schedule appropriately. Please be proactive in calling our front desk if you have been waiting longer than you were instructed to expect.
We offer Medical Staycare on most Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays to our eligible and established patients for annual wellness visits, minor issues and concerns and some non-critical and non-emergent situations. With Medical Staycare, treatment plans are agreed upon by phone ahead of time, patients are admitted to the hospital for anywhere from 3-4 hours or for the entire day, and our clients can free up to go home, go to work, or run errands while we care for their pet. Patients are in comfortable accommodations with blankets (if no safety concerns), water and lots of attention when not receiving medical services. Medical Staycare allows our veterinarians the ability to prioritize services and client communications in a way that is most efficient and streamlined and can sometimes be the best options on days that we are overbooked. If you are interested in this service, PLEASE CALL OUR OFFICE IMMEDIATELY to reschedule your appointment as a Medical Staycare Appointment.
Please plan to be at our facility for at least an hour for all rechecks and wellness visits, 1-2 hours for visits addressing concerns and 1-2 hours or more for urgent care visits. If at any time, you are unable to continue waiting for your appointment, please call our front desk and we will find a way to accommodate or reschedule your appointment.
If you check in for an appointment and are not attended to within 15 minutes of your scheduled time, we encourage you to call the front desk for a status update. If you have an appointment that can be postponed without putting your pet at risk and would not like to continue to wait, please let our receptionists know and they will work with you to find another way to accommodate your appointment.
If the original reason for your visit changes from the time that you schedule it, please give our office a call at (912) 232-4249 or email us at [email protected] so that we may make any changes or adjustments in your appointment time or length to best accommodate your pet's needs and avoid unnecessary wait times for you and others.