AAHA Importance to You and Your Pet

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 15% of veterinary hospitals (also called clinics or practices) are accredited.

The American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) is an international association of more than 42,000 veterinary care providers who treat companion animals. Established in 1933, AAHA is well known among veterinarians and pet owners for its standards for hospitals and pet health care. Consultants regularly visit these hospitals to ensure compliance with AAHA’s standards for services and facilities.

Practices are evaluated against a pool of more than 900 standards that represent best practices in veterinary care and hospital management. A national taskforce 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.

Why does this matter to you? Here are a few examples of how AAHA’s standards impact you and your pet.

  • The Standards require hospitals to provide diagnostic services (x-ray and laboratory) so that they can quickly and accurately diagnose your pet.
  • The Standards focus on the quality of care in the areas of: anesthesia, contagious diseases, dentistry, pain management, patient care, surgery and emergency care.
  • Accredited hospitals have an onsite pharmacy (another standards area) so they can begin treatment immediately.
  • AAHA Standards require that medical records be thorough and complete to help practitioners better understand your pet’s medical history and how past health issues might be impacting their current medical status.

The AAHA Standards of Accreditation, developed and published by AAHA, are widely accepted as representing those components of veterinary practice that represent high-quality care. The Standards are periodically reviewed and updated to ensure that they remain consistent with evolving knowledge and technology.

Accreditation helps veterinary hospitals stay on the leading edge of veterinary medicine and provide the quality and range of services you and your pet deserve. Because of the AAHA Standards of Accreditation, you can be sure that your pet will receive top-quality pet care at an AAHA accredited hospital.

 

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Emergency Process Tampa Bay Veterinary Specialists Largo Professional Center 1501-A Belcher Road Largo, FL 33771 727-531-5752