Memorial-610 Hospital for Animals Houston, TX - Policies
Emergency cases shall always receive top priority, which is why the occasional appointment delay is inevitable. If your pet had a medical crisis, you would want our doctors and veterinary staff to give him or her immediate attention. If an emergency arrives at the time of your appointment, you will always be given the option of waiting, dropping off your pet for evaluation, or rescheduling. We appreciate your understanding in this uncommon situation.
Scheduled (“Outpatient”) Appointments
Our routine order of priority in attending to outpatients is the following:
(2) Scheduled Appointments
(3) Work-ins and Late Appointments
We have chosen to operate a scheduled-appointment style medical practice to ensure we are able to see our clients in a timely, reliable fashion. Scheduled appointments allow our doctors to time for the proper examination and assessment of our patients. In addition, this gives our clients adequate time to have their concerns addressed and questions answered. Depending on the reason for your visit, your appointment may be brief—15 to 30 minutes --or last much longer, particularly if your pet is having any health problems.
Our practice is proud of the fact that we run on schedule the vast majority of time, and we strive to be extremely punctual and efficient! Staying on a schedule is a valued priority for us. However this requires that everyone -- staff, doctors, and clients -- work as a team. Therefore, we ask that our clients be familiar with how appointments are run at Memorial-610 in order to appropriately schedule and manage your time. Each appointment begins with:
- A licensed veterinary technician (LVT) or assistant obtaining a thorough history from you regarding your pet’s health, diet, medications, and current problems.
- Vital signs are then obtained on your pet.
- Vaccinations, when indicated, may be given at this time.
- When indicated, the staff member may obtain laboratory samples or perform other diagnostic tests at this time.
- The technician enters this information into your pet’s electronic medical record, and then discusses her findings with the veterinarian.
- Prior to entering the exam room, your veterinarian thoroughly reviews your pet’s current -- as well as prior—medical history. Next, your doctor will come in and obtain further history or information, while performing a comprehensive examination of your pet. Pertinent findings and differentials (possible diagnoses) are discussed, and further testing or treatments may be recommended. Questions or concerns are addressed.
- The appointment ends with a veterinary staff member or the veterinarian reviewing the visit and explaining any therapy prescribed. Estimates are presented. Follow up appointments may be scheduled here or at the reception desk upon discharge.
As you can see from the above, your appointment start time is not the time the veterinarian enters the room. Our staff is highly leveraged and trained to obtain a proper history, as well as to educate our clients. In this way, we provide you and your pet the most comprehensive, skilled care possible!
To remain efficient, please note the following:
- At the time you make the appointment, help us to allot the appropriate amount of time for your appointment by detailing to our receptionist any and all health problems you want addressed.
- Please let us know if you prefer to see a specific veterinarian. Our doctors’ schedules rotate weekly, so we want to ensure your preferred doctor is available.
- Please do your best to arrive at the practice on time, or even a few minutes prior to your scheduled appointment. This will give you time to unload your pet from your vehicle, give him or her brief walk to eliminate, allow your pet to acclimate to the new environment, check in, and complete any required paperwork.
- Please, do not bring another pet you want examined to your visit if the second pet does not have a scheduled appointment. Our appointments times are allotted per patient, not per client. Two (or more) pets = twice as much time needed in our schedule.
- Similarly, please do not ask the doctor to address health conditions of a friend’s pet or of your other pet(s), without a scheduled appointment.
- Communication: We pride ourselves in providing excellent medical care! To do so, we obtain a thorough history on your pet, and relay our findings via thorough and clear communication.
- Whenever possible, please ensure that whomever brings your pet to the appointment is familiar with their history and current problem, and can effectively communicate this with our staff. We have limited bilingual resources.
- We understand that you may not be able to accompany your pet to its appointment. However, if you must send a pet sitter, relative, housekeeper, or other individual, understand that they may not be able to give us enough information to appropriately diagnose your pet’s problem. Therefore, please be readily available by phone to speak to the doctor. It may be better in these situations to schedule a drop-off appointment (see below) so that you can speak with us at a mutually convenient time.
Drop Off (“Inpatient”) Appointments
For your convenience, drop-off appointments are available. A drop-off means you may bring your pet to the hospital and leave them with us for the workday or for part of the day. Our doctors will then thoroughly evaluate your pet between appointments and/or at a time reserved for admitted patients. Drop-off appointments are available on weekday mornings between 7:00 and 9:00 a.m. Drop-off patients are generally evaluated in order of need (triage): the most urgent/ill cases are seen first. Well-patient drop-offs are seen in order of arrival. Your veterinarian will report back with you as soon as possible regarding your pet’s exam. Call-back times and patient discharge times will vary depending on inpatient load.
To remain efficient with drop-offs, please note the following:
- Although not required, we appreciate your calling in advance to set-up a drop off appointment.
- Contagious/infectious pets (sneezing, coughing, diarrhea, obvious fleas, etc.) ideally should not be dropped off.
- If your preferred doctor is not the Inpatient doctor for that morning, don’t worry! He or she can still see your pet. However, discharge time may be need to be later in the day if your veterinarian has a full outpatient schedule.
- We prefer that you fill out a drop-off form before you arrive at the hospital. You may also fill it out upon check-in. The more information your veterinarian has, the better! Please be as detailed and thorough as possible regarding any problems.
- Please leave a contact name and phone number or email. Our doctors have little “office time,” so having one primary contact person is ideal.
- With few exceptions, please do not request a pick-up time before 12 p.m. and/or within 3 hours of your drop-off time. Our doctors must accomplish patient exams, surgeries, drop-offs, and emergencies all in one day.
- If you prefer to speak to the doctor in person during an appointment time, please make an afternoon outpatient appointment with the receptionist. There may be an additional consult charge for this.
Walk-ins (“Work-ins”) and Late Appointments
- Appointments are preferred. However, non-emergency walk-ins (“work-ins,” i.e. no scheduled appointment) will be seen on a space-available basis. Space-available means either after other scheduled appointments have been completed, or as a work-in appointment.
- The wait for work-in appointments may be very short—5 to 10 minutes—or hours, depending on our schedule at that time. We will do our best to minimize this time.
- Those arriving more than 15 minutes after their scheduled appointment time will be seen at the discretion of the veterinarian and support staff. We will not make clients who arrive on time for their scheduled appointments wait while we attend to others who have missed their appointment start time -- it is a matter of common courtesy.
- In some circumstances, late arrivals may be given the option to reschedule for another day / time or to drop off their pet for examination and treatment.
Missed Appointments and Surgeries
Because we allot ample time for each scheduled client to receive a comprehensive, quality exam on their pet, failed appointments create a problem for our other clients, as well as for our hospital. No- shows take up valuable appointment slot times which would otherwise be used by our clients who would otherwise show up for that appointment time had it been available to them. Please contact us by phone immediately if you cannot make your scheduled appointment. Due to increased demand for exceptional veterinary care at Memorial-610 Hospital for Animals, appointment no-shows may incur a charge equivalent to the office visit. Surgical no-shows may incur a charge at least 25% of the surgical estimate. A deposit will be secured for surgical appointments. We limit the number of surgical procedures performed each day and schedule the appropriate staff needed to accomplish those tasks. If a patient does not show up on the scheduled surgical day, the staff costs cannot be avoided, so the surgical deposit will be forfeited if you have not contacted us at least 48 business hours in advance.
Email communication with the veterinarian is valued benefit we offer to our clients. Email with your doctor is meant to be used as a tool to communicate lab results, or clarify simple questions. It is never to be used as a means to discuss new or complex medical issues, behavioral problems, or emergencies. If email is misused in this manner, we may elect to discontinue this service. Our nursing staff is available for general health questions. You may reach them via our Customer Service Representatives at firstname.lastname@example.org. Response times vary depending on our patient load. Please call if you do not receive a response within 2 business days. Please do not send urgent messages via email.
Patient records are the responsibility and property of the veterinarian or veterinarians who own the veterinary practice. As is required in RULE §573.52-54, patient records shall be current and readily available for a minimum of five years from the date of last treatment by the veterinarian and veterinarians shall retain patient records for such longer length of time than that when mandated by other federal or state statute or regulation. Release of records is pursuant to request. Upon the request of the client or their authorized representative, the veterinarian shall furnish a copy of the patient records, including a copy of any radiographs requested, within 15 business days of the request unless a longer period is reasonably required to duplicate the records. If the records are requested for acute/emergency care, the veterinarian must provide the records immediately and no later than one business day. The attending veterinarian or their agent must communicate directly to us the need for the records is urgent. Please be mindful that contacting us in advance of your appointment at another office would be prudent as the records that we maintain will need to be reviewed prior to being sent per your request. Likewise, we ask that you plan ahead and request medical records in advance of your appointments with us so that we may also have updated information at the time of your pet's examination and consultation. The veterinarian may charge a reasonable fee for this service and, in non-emergency and non-acute situations, may withhold the records until such payment is received.
We require full payment at the time that services are rendered. For your convenience, we accept Visa, MasterCard, Discover, Care Credit, American Express, cash and personal checks.
Patient Arrival Policy
For your protection, and that of others, all dogs must be on a leash and properly controlled while in the waiting area or exam rooms.
All cats must be presented in an appropriate cat carrier or on a leash.