Why we celebrate AAHA Accredited Hospital Day!

Jul 20 • 2 minute read

This symbol means that we have chosen
to undergo regular evaluations
to maintain our AAHA accreditation.
Not every hospital puts in the work
and chooses to earn this designation,
but we’re proud to say we do!

Not all veterinary hospitals are created equal.  We’re not saying this to discredit anyone, or to force anyone to leave a veterinarian that they trust.  On the contrary, we want to help pet owners make the best decision possible.

In human medicine it is the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services (CMS) that requires all hospitals in the United States to be accredited through one of three accrediting agencies: The Joint Commission, Healthcare Facilities Accreditation Program (HFAP) or Det Norske Veritas Healthcare, Inc. (DNV).  This means that to provide Medicare services to patients they must undergo regular reviews and quality checks to ensure they meet a specific set of Standards of Quality for every aspect of medical care.

In veterinary medicine there is only one organization that accredits veterinary hospitals, the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA).  What most people are surprised to learn is that accreditation is voluntary.  This is different from state licensing and regulatory agencies standards that must be maintained for general health and safety. There is absolutely no law that requires a veterinary hospital to meet and maintain a precise level of quality veterinary care.  AAHA accreditation is a very rigorous and time-consuming process, and most veterinary hospitals do not take the time to meet these standards since it’s not required by law. In fact, only about 12% of veterinary hospitals, clinics and practices are accredited.

There are approximately 900 Standards of Accreditation that a veterinary hospital must meet to become accredited. These standards include patient care and pain management, surgery, pharmacy, laboratory, exam facilities, medical records, cleanliness, emergency services, dental care, diagnostic imaging, anesthesiology, and continuing education.

AAHA accredited hospitals don’t have to meet these standards just once either. These standards are subject to regular review and onsite-evaluations to ensure that the high quality of care is maintained.  Animal hospitals that choose to be accredited show they are committed to going above and beyond for their patients to consistently provide the safest and highest quality care.

How do you know if your veterinary hospital is AAHA accredited? Hospitals that are AAHA accredited with proudly display the AAHA logo.  Looking to find one in your area? The easiest way is to use the AAHA Accredited Hospital Locator.

Click here to find an AAHA accredited practice in your area.

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