Not All Veterinary Hospitals Are Created Equal
We all want what’s best for those we care about. And choosing the right veterinary hospital is an important part of doing what’s best for your pet family. Most of us know when “interviewing” a new hospital to ask about their business hours, fees and the services they offer, but perhaps the most important question to ask is whether they are accredited by the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA.)
The American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) was established in 1933 and is the only organization that accredits veterinary hospitals throughout the United States and Canada. Accreditation is voluntary; unlike human hospitals, veterinary hospitals are not required to be accredited. Hospitals that seek AAHA accreditation are committed to excellence and want to ensure they are upholding the highest standards in veterinary medicine. To become accredited, a hospital must undergo an intensive evaluation process which involves over 900 quality standards in areas including patient care, client service, anesthesia and surgery, pharmacy, dentistry, medical recordkeeping, diagnostic imaging, laboratory and pain management. Only about 12% of all animal hospitals in the U.S. and Canada have earned AAHA accreditation.
So what does accreditation mean to you and your pet? Accreditation helps ensure that hospitals stay current and that they provide the services you and your pets expect and deserve. Because of the standards that AAHA-accredited hospitals are required to meet, they must have radiographic (x-ray) and laboratory capabilities so they can quickly and accurately diagnose your pet; an on-site pharmacy so they can begin your pet’s treatment immediately; and complete, thorough and easily accessible records so they can track your pet’s medical issues and determine their impact on your pet’s current condition. In short, accreditation means that the hospital has what is needed to help your pet feel better, faster.
Ask your veterinary hospital if they are AAHA-accredited, or look for the AAHA logo on their door or brochure. If they are, they have made a commitment to you and your pet to hold themselves to the highest standards of care and conduct. For more information about AAHA or to find an AAHA-accredited veterinary hospital near you, visit www.healthypet.com.