Veterinary Standard Operating Procedures

Discharging Inpatients

  1. Ensure the case vet has given a full and thorough plan of the medications (including course total and length), home care, follow-up appointments and monitoring.
  2. Ensure the vet has spoken to the client with the plan and diagnosis of condition prior to the discharge appointment being made.
  3. All of the treatment the patient has received must be booked before the client arrives for collection, including consumables. Medication for the duration of the stay must match the vets intended course and be discharged with the correct amount and strength of medication.
  4. The appropriate discharge sheet should be filled out fully and correctly, if necessary including correct bandage care etc.
  5. All medications should be up-to-date before discharge, and the patient fed and had the opportunity for a bowel and bladder movement.
  6. Catheters, bladder and intravenous, should be removed, haemorrhaging ceased. If they are discharged with a pressure bandage over the cannula site, the owner must be told to remove it that evening, earlier if swelling of the leg or paw occurs.
  7. The patient must be clean and groomed where necessary before discharge. If the bed had been soiled, urine and other matter must be washed, dried and brushed.
  8. If any other procedure has been performed, it must be clearly written on the discharge form (e.g. ear cleaning, nail clipping etc).
  9. When the client arrives for collection, the medication and discharge forms should be discussed with them without the animal present in order to ensure maximum possible information intake. The full stay of the patient should be discussed, including medication start dates, expression of normal behaviour, defecation and urination. All clip patches and bandages must be explained along with other care, such as physiotherapy, ear cleaning etc. They must also be made aware of any follow up appointments, how flexible these may be, and which vet they must be with (i.e. the case vet’s name). They should be told to contact the hospital at any time and made aware of the OOH protocol.
  10. When the animal is brought to the owner, any wounds or clipped patches they have already been told about must be shown to them. Explain to them what is normal, and what is abnormal.
  11. Explain the follow up appointments and who they are with to the receptionist before leaving the client.

Prepared by V1. 26/9/2023

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