So much has been going on at Crawford Dog and Cat Hospital. By now, our clients have all received the e mail telling them that the practice was purchased in January by Banfield Veterinary Group. This brought about few changes that were visible to pet owners until just this month. The biggest change, was our ability to stay open with all staff on payroll through the first wave of the Covid-19 pandemic. While this year has been stressful, we have maintained a safe environment for our pet parents and our staff. Going forward, this will be our top priority. We cannot continue to provide care for pets if we are sick or forced to close down.
The biggest change to operations since our return to a single team with full staffing, occurred last Monday. That is when we went live with our new practice management software. This has been a real challenge as on-site training was not available due to pandemic travel restrictions. Banfield management did it’s best to help us remotely, but I must say, the experience was very stressful for the staff, and our initial efficiency was quite poor. Fortunately, the team is rising to the task and we are getting a handle on the program. That’s important, because there are some great opportunities to lower some of the barriers to veterinary care for our patients.
The first is our portal that allows real time, online appointment scheduling. By following the link here, you can actually schedule certain types of appointments without dialing your phone. Surgery and anesthetic procedures cannot be scheduled, but wellness exams, sick appointments, and drop off appointments are available on line. There is even an app on line that you can install on your phone that lets you access the scheduler, your pet’s records, and information about Optimum Wellness Plans. (OWP).
These plans are a real savings for pet owners. All preventive care is included in the OWP. Two comprehensive exams, screening blood work, heartworm and Feline Leukemia/FIV testing, vaccines, and unlimited office calls. They are divided into puppy/kitten plans and adult pet plans. They can be further customized to include annual dental cleanings, spay/neuter procedures, and screening radiographs. The plans allow you budget for pet wellness care with monthly payments. The beauty is that on the date of enrollment, you can often get $300 -$400 worth of care and only make the first monthly payment and a one time enrollment fee. All wellness plans also include 24/7 access to Banfield’s telemedicine service as well as discounts on services and products not included in the OWP.
The pets that are the most obvious beneficiary of the OWP are puppies and kittens, pets that have finished their puppy and kitten vaccines but need to be spayed, or pets that need a dental cleaning some time in the next year.
You can consult with an OWP specialist on line, or call our office and speak with our staff. We are still learning the ropes but we will be glad to help you figure out the best OWP option for your situation. You don’t have to enroll in advance, you can do it during your annual exam and walk out with a much lower payment than you would if you paid for the services individually.
We’ll try to touch base once a week with one little tidbit about OWP during Bella’s Monday Minute on Facebook. It’s a lot to digest but it is a powerful way to assure that our furry friends are taken care of. An ounce of prevention is definitely worth a pound of cure.