What is AAHA accreditation and why is it important to our hospital?
What is AAHA? AAHA stands for the American Animal Hospital Association, a professional association of veterinary hospitals founded in 1933. AAHA is the only organization that provides accreditation for veterinary practices throughout the United States and Canada. Accreditation is voluntary and we have chosen to be accredited because of our commitment to excellence in small animal care.
What are the requirements for accreditation? To become accredited, hospitals must comply with the AAHA Standards of Accreditation. AAHA standards cover almost every aspect of running a veterinary practice, from providing high quality care for patients, to providing excellent client service. While some states/provinces inspect practices, the voluntary AAHA evaluation covers 19 areas and helps practices comply with DEA and OSHA/WHIMIS requirements. During the evaluation, we are asked to meet 47 mandatory standards and to address about 900 other standards of care. It’s an opportunity for us to have an outside independent consultant provide feedback on what we are doing well and identify areas where we may want to make changes and improvements. Practices are evaluated on site every three years (two years if you’ve only been through an evaluation process once.)
How does our AAHA accreditation benefit clients and the pets they love? The AAHA standards were developed with high quality care in mind. By following the standards, we are in a better position to provide patients with the very best in veterinary care. AAHA standards area a mark of distinction that sets our practice apart from others. It means we’ve worked hard to create, implement and update our protocols and to periodically review the things we’re doing to make sure we’re up-to-date and being the best we can be.
How many practices are accredited? Approximately 15% of small animal practices in the United States are AAHA-accredited. Approximately 7% of Canadian small animal practices are accredited by AAHA. Taking into account all small animal hospitals in North America, approximately 15% are AAHA-accredited.
Our hospital takes pride in being AAHA accredited. An AAHA magnetic pin is a requirement to be worn by each team member as part of their uniform along with their name tag. This represents our hospital’s high standards in client service and medical practices.