It’s time for another one of Mason’s Mewsings! Today, we’ll be talking about AAHA, the American Animal Hospital Association. You may have seen their logo on our website or around the hospital.
So, what is AAHA? Per Wikipedia, “The American Animal Hospital Association is a non-profit organization for companion animal veterinary hospitals. Established in 1933, the association is the only accrediting body for small animal hospitals in the U.S. and Canada. The association develops benchmarks of excellence, business practice standards, publications and educational programs. Any veterinary hospital can join AAHA as a member, but must then pass an evaluation in order to receive AAHA accreditation.”
And what does this accreditation entail? Well, to become an AAHA-accredited practice, animal hospitals and clinics willingly undergo a rigorous evaluation process to ensure they meet the 900+ individual standards of accreditation put forth by AAHA. These 900+ standards include but are not limited to: “Patient care, diagnostic imaging, laboratory, pain management, pharmacy, safety, surgery, client service, anesthesia, contagious disease, continuing education, dentistry, examination facilities, medical records, leadership and emergency/urgent care. To maintain their accredited status, hospitals undergo comprehensive on-site evaluations every three years, which ensures that hospitals are compliant with the Association’s mandatory standards.” And it’s not just limited to general practice veterinary facilities – specialty hospitals can become accredited as a “Referral” practice, as well.
So, what does this mean for you, our clients? It means that you can expect a higher standard of quality and veterinary care from us. It means that we are holding ourselves to higher expectations and that we try to maintain and exceed current veterinary medical standards. It means that we provide a safe, clean, contagion-free environment to come to, that we use high quality medications and anesthesia, and that our hospital protocols are designed to meet AAHA’s high standards of quality. AAHA also recommends continuous learning and keeping staff skills up-to-date. This helps members build team confidence and ultimately helps hospitals provide a positive client “experience,” while improving the level of patient care. AAHA-accredited practices use a team approach to meet the needs of their clients and the pets they love.