What it means to be AAHA accredited and why it’s a big deal.
Veterinary Medicine and Surgery is proud to be AAHA accredited!
Veterinary Medicine and Surgery is excited to announce that we will be participating in our next American Animal Hospital Association review in January 2017. VMS has been accredited by AAHA since 1997 (20 years!) and we incorporate their standards of excellence in every aspect of providing health care for your pets. Our AAHA accreditation requires that we undergo a rigorous review by veterinary experts every three years. Surprisingly, not all animal hospitals go through this process! You can take pride in the fact that your pet receives care from a hospital accredited by the American Animal Hospital Association.
AAHA has been recognizing veterinary hospitals for their commitment to maintaining high standards of care for over 80 years. To be eligible for AAHA accreditation, hospitals must be evaluated on approximately 900 standards that assess safety protocols, equipment, veterinary knowledge, and other key areas of pet health care. Accredited hospitals are home to leading pet health care providers.
Our veterinarians and staff are dedicated to delivering excellent care for your pet. AAHA helps us stay prepared and equipped to provide the level of care that your pet deserves.
How the accreditation evaluation works
In the United States, all hospitals that serve people with Medicare must be accredited through an accrediting body, that is, they must undergo regular reviews and quality checks to ensure they meet standards of quality for every aspect of medical care.
You might be surprised to learn that the same is not true for veterinary hospitals. When it comes to pet health care, accreditation is voluntary. In fact, only about 12% of veterinary hospitals (also called clinics or practices) are accredited.
The American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) is the only organization that accredits veterinary hospitals — both general and specialty practices — in the United States and Canada.
Practices are evaluated against a pool of approximately 900 standards that represent best practices in veterinary care and hospital management. A national task force of veterinary professionals created and continually updates the standards to reflect the latest developments and improvements in patient care, surgery, medical records, cleanliness, staff safety, leadership, and a host of other areas essential to excellent patient care.
After applying to become accredited, a veterinary practice usually spends several weeks or months examining and fine-tuning its systems, processes, and protocols (procedures) to be sure every aspect meets AAHA’s standards of quality.
Often the whole practice team becomes involved, which builds collaboration across the entire clinic — an important factor in quality pet care.
When the practice is ready, AAHA sends consultants — trained professionals with veterinary backgrounds — to conduct an on-site evaluation.
Practices are awarded points for each standard they meet, and they must amass a certain score in order to pass the evaluation. To maintain accredited status, clinics must be re-evaluated every three years. This ensures that every AAHA-accredited practice represents the most current thinking about what constitutes the best health and medical care for pets.
Pet owners can feel reassured about the care their pets receive at AAHA-accredited hospitals. There is a saying among business leaders: Good management is doing things right. Leadership is doing the right things. Accreditation assures you that your veterinarian does both.