24/7 EMERGENCY CARE
2505 S 80th St, Tacoma, WA
New Patient Information
We expect to create and maintain strong and open communication channels with our referring veterinarians. We pledge to provide timely updates as we care for your patients and welcome case discussions or questions. Our commitment to education is reflected in our efforts to maintain up to date with advances in our fields, and to be a resource to Northwest veterinarians via consultations, case discussions, rounds, and formal continuing education programs. We also intend to participate in the accumulation of medical knowledge through case follow-up and collaborative studies. All of these facets support our ability to provide exceptional care for our patients and exceptional service to our clients.
We welcome transfers of patients that may require intensive support, monitoring, and 24 hour care. If you wish to transfer an emergency patient directly from your hospital, we do request that you call to speak with the receiving doctor or service so that we may be prepared for your patient and client. Please fax relevant records to 253-983-1115 as soon as they are available. Feel free to provide clients with our client information and patient history forms which they may fill out on the way.
Most patients admitted overnight will be transferred to the appropriate specialist in the morning, when available. Some cases will be managed by one of our criticalists. If in general you would like inpatients to be returned to your facility in the morning for continued hospitalization, please feel free to call one of our criticalists anytime to discuss your preferences. While we are happy to release patients to your hospital for continued care, if 24 hour care or input from a specialist is indicated we will discuss this with you on a case by case basis.
Routine specialty service referrals:
Your client should call directly for an appointment with a specialist. Once the appointment has been made, we will request the supporting medical history from your practice. If you have specific requests or concerns regarding a particular case, please feel free to send an email or fax to the department your patient will see.
We offer outpatient ultrasounds for your stable patients in need of imaging, as an alternative to mobile services. We can often accommodate patients within a few days of your request. To schedule routine outpatient ultrasound, please call the radiology referral coordinator at Summit.
Patients scheduled for outpatient ultrasound must be clinically stable; any pets requiring supportive care or observation for any reason (examples include seizures, anticipated biopsy procedures) should be referred and admitted through the appropriate service or an emergency doctor. Radiologists are available Monday through Friday, however, we are unable to schedule specific times for these scans and clients are asked to drop off their pets or may wait if they wish.
We appreciate your willingness to fill out our simple consult request form for any questions regarding a specific patient. We will maintain this document for several months, in case the patient becomes a referral. If you would like information to prepare your client for referral or assist them with their decision to seek specialty care, including estimates, general treatment options, and prognosis, we are happy to provide this brief consultation at no charge. Supporting records may be requested if the specialist feels they are essential for even general advice. This service is not intended or able to provide detailed ongoing case management.
Medical records for initial visits:
Surgery: Records pertaining to the timeline of the identified problem.
Neurology: Records pertaining to the timeline of the identified problem.
Oncology: Records pertaining to the timeline of the identified problem, or one year of history, whichever is greater. If your patient has any other history of neoplasia in the past, please include all records pertaining to any neoplastic disease.
Internal medicine: Prefer to receive the entire medical record. If this is too extensive, all records back to 1 year prior to identification of the problem are requested. Additional information may be requested following record review.
For all services, please include all imaging and laboratory work relevant to the patient’s problem. Please provide a copy of radiographs or CT images, even if a radiologist report was generated. The most recent bloodwork should be included in every case (if not already included in timelines above). Additional records may be requested if needed.
What we do:
Most of our patients are referred by their primary care veterinarian when specialized expertise for a particular condition or problem is indicated. Depending on the nature of the problem, your pet’s case may only require input from a boarded specialist a few times, or you may become a longer term client. We make every effort to maintain communication with your family veterinarian. For ongoing care, we often work closely with your primary veterinarian to ensure continuity of care for your pet.
We strive to create a collaborative environment in which every member of your pet’s health team, including your family veterinarian, may work together to provide optimal and comprehensive state of the art care. We are committed to providing compassionate and empathetic support for our patients’ families as they pursue a better quality of life for the animals in their lives. Each member of our team derives personal satisfaction from the relationships we create with our patients and their families, for as long as we are needed.
What to expect:
Initial consultations are typically between 45 minutes and an hour, depending on the service and the individual case. We make every effort to review your pet’s prior medical history, when available, before your appointment. During the initial consultation, the doctor will clarify any history needed, examine your pet, and discuss recommendations and options thoroughly. Our goal is to give you the information you need to make appropriate decisions for your family.
If diagnostics or procedures are indicated, we may be able to perform them the same day, or may schedule a return visit. If your pet is in need of hospitalized support, we can provide that as well. Prior to any diagnostic or therapeutic procedures, an estimate of costs will be provided.
Emergency appointments are available for patients with urgent medical conditions. Every effort is made to schedule emergencies directly with the appropriate specialty service, but in some cases admission and initial management is in our critical care unit under supervision of critical care and emergency doctors. All of our doctors are highly skilled and able to provide diagnostic and supportive care, and internal consultations with appropriate specialists are facilitated. You may not be able to immediately speak with a particular specialist directly, but your pet will be fully cared for in the interim.
Prepare for your first visit (non-emergencies):
We see patients primarily on a referral basis. While you may self-refer, we strongly encourage you to include your primary veterinarian in this decision so that all members of your pet’s team are informed and involved as we move forward. Information describing the referral process for clients and referring veterinarians is outlined below.