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As patient count grows, so does DoveLewis

Oregon hospital’s caseload has increased as other clinics struggle to find veterinarians.

As patient count grows, so does DoveLewis
One of DoveLewis’ three board-certified surgeons and an assistant examine a patient in the hospital’s new surgical treatment area.

DoveLewis Veterinary Emergency & Specialty Hospital has wrapped up a yearlong expansion project designed to accommodate more patients and improve team communication and client management.

The Portland, Oregon, hospital grew by 8,500 square feet, adding three wards, a third surgery suite, six exams rooms, a redesigned emergency lobby and a second comfort room for end-of-life care.

Administrators pointed to an ongoing shortage of veterinarians as a reason for the expansion, explaining that the labor crisis “has taken a toll on local hospitals’ ability to treat their usual caseload, and some are choosing to curtail hours or services, leaving other hospitals, including DoveLewis, to carry the overage.”

“When you grow that quickly, it puts a strain on everything,” said Ron Morgan, DoveLewis’ president and CEO. “We knew we needed to make a change for the well-being of our patients, their families and our team.”

The first phase opened over the summer, creating one area for emergent and critical patients and one for specialty patients scheduled for veterinary care in areas such as radiology, internal medicine, cardiology and surgery.

The veterinary team is making use of a reengineered patient flow, a weekend overflow protocol and a mirrored digital whiteboard.

Opened in 1973, the nonprofit hospital is on pace to care for 25,000 patients in 2019.

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