New AVMA guide helps practices deliver service during pandemic

The AVMA has added a new tool to its COVID-19 resource page to help practices safely expand services during the pandemic.

The risk management guide covers topics like employee health, safety and compliance; premises liability; client safety; and property loss prevention. It also includes other AVMA tools, such as an employee screening template and a “case management decision tree,” which helps veterinarians decide when it’s safe to see patients and when postponing or referring is safer.

“An employer’s return-to-normal plan has a lasting impact on employee productivity, engagement, and commitment, as well as patient care and client satisfaction,” the guide says. The resource is meant to “provide employers with guideposts and considerations for their return-to-work plan.”

Practices can implement new policies including:

  • Standards of conduct like hand washing and sanitizing, appropriate social distancing and application of personal protective equipment.
  • Details and consequences regarding prohibited conduct and failure to comply with standards of conduct, like coming to work with COVID symptoms or failing to physically distance.
  • Rules to ensure safe entrance and exit into and out of the building—for example, only allowing two people in an elevator at a time.
  • New procedures and policies for calling in sick. For example, incentives can be offered to encourage employees to stay home when they’re sick.

The AVMA recommends employers share their written policies and require employees to sign an acknowledgement that includes the obligation to read and comply with the policies.