FAQ: For Referring Veterinarians

At West Hills Animal Emergency & Critical Care Center, ongoing communication with you is very important to us. We invite your ongoing suggestions and constructive criticism to help us better serve your patients and clients. We consider primary care Veterinarians to be our partners. No one knows your clients and patients better than you do. West Hills Animal Emergency & Critical Care Center would love to serve as an extension of your practice and would be extremely proud to work with you to fulfill the needs of your clients and patients for after-hours emergencies.

What are the advantages of referring patients to WHAECC?

– We have been on call for overnight emergencies for 30 years with the assistance of our 24 hour nursing staff. We treat dogs, cats, birds, and exotics.

– We have the ability to perform emergency surgery, endoscopy, comprehensive blood work, digital radiography, ultrasound and blood transfusions.

– Philosophically we’re on the same page. We’re general practitioners who care for patients throughout their lives – not just for an isolated circumstance – and deeply respect that privilege.

– By referring to WHAECC, you’re guaranteed the best equipment, training and experience for your clients and patients.

When I refer, what can I expect?

– Our Veterinarians are always available for a phone consultation any time of the day.

– Our Referral Coordinator serves as your dedicated point-person.

– As a referring Veterinarian, you will receive a final written discharge summary with bloodwork and/or x-rays after the case is discharged, or if the pet was hospitalized an Admission Summary.

– To begin the treatment of your pet, we will take a brief history and the patient’s vital signs prior to the emergency doctor examining the patient. As we determine the nature of care that will be required for your pet, we communicate with you every step of the way.

– Some pets might require hospitalization. If this is the case, every effort will be made to make your pet comfortable during its stay at WHAECC

How will I stay updated on my patient’s status while in your care?

– Fax or Email or by good old fashion telephone. Our communications are tailored to your individual preference. You can fill out our referring vet communication form either electronically or by faxing it directly to our hospital at (631) 367-8130.

– We will provide your practice’s doctors with an update for any patients seen, however you prefer – email, fax or phone or any combination thereof.

– All email updates will include radiographic images and complete lab reports when requested.

– We believe that open communication with the primary vet is essential to providing clear management of each patient’s case. When possible, our staff will personally call you with a verbal report following the patient’s progress. Once available, we will also forward any lab results to you.

How and when can my patient be transferred back to my hospital?

– Our referral coordinator will expedite the referral process.

– Patients requiring hospitalization can either stay at WHAECC or can be transferred back to you at any hour – they don’t have to be picked up by 8 am unless you want them to be.

– Our doctors and nurses round together on all patients so our staff is familiar with everyone in the hospital.

What are some policies you have in place to ease my mind that my client will continue to use myself as their primary doctor?

– We have a separate phone number (631) 923-3210 which is answered by our client care specialists as the West Hills Animal Emergency & Critical Care Center.

– We developed a different website www.whaecc.com to refer to.

– Every non-client emergency has separate file numbers to differentiate your clients from West Hills clients.

– We developed a separate message-on-hold for West Hills Animal Emergency & Critical Care Center.

– All clients referred by you at any time would sign a release acknowledging that we would not see them for routine care; this form is provided to you in the handout.

– We will repeatedly emphasize our role as an extension of your practice to your client

Do you have doctors staffed throughout the night?

– Yes. We have doctors and licensed technicians staffed around the clock, 24/7!

– Our orientation is to provide personal and warm client and patient service that is economically reasonable, just like you.

– Our critical care team is composed of caring, compassionate, highly skilled licensed professionals who provide quality care for your patient around the clock.

– The critical care team includes three dedicated licensed veterinary technicians with a combined work experience at West Hills for over 25 years, three after-hours emergency doctors, and its own emergency and referral coordinator.

– The 7 other West Hills doctors and 14 other LVT’s provide complete care of your patients during the day and if hospitalized, during their stay. Our client care specialists are trained to ask every new client if they have been referred by their regular Veterinarian before they are checked in.

What are the prices of hospitalization so I can make my client aware ahead of time?

– Our fees are the same as our general practice. We will not charge a premium as an emergency and critical care center for your referred clients.

– Any patients transferred from your hospital will not have to pay an admission exam but would have a complimentary doctor examination.

– Our hospitalization fees are bundled and are based on 24 hours of care so you can tell your clients the cost of hospitalization before transferring over without any “surprises“ or “hidden charges”.

– We do not use a per injection charge or per liter charge for hospitalized patients but rather base our fees on body weight and species.

What is the best way to prepare my client for a transfer?

– Please send a completed referral form available in two formats: ELECTRONIC REFERAL FORM or REFERRAL FORM PDF FORMAT with copies of laboratory results, radiographs and biopsy results, if available, with the pet owner.

– Please instruct the client about animal preparation. Provide them with copies of medical records, medications, lab reports or images to bring to the our emergency service.

Frequently Asked Questions for Referring Veterinarians

Pet emergencies for which you should immediately seek medical care: Symptoms include:

  • Difficulty breading
  • Bleeding that does not stop from any part of the body
  • Bloated, distended, swollen or painful abdomen
  • Major trauma - Falls, hit-by-cars, large wounds, broken bones

Full list of pet emergencies