Since 1933, AAHA’s leaders and other veterinary experts have developed specific written standards for companion animal practices. These standards have undergone numerous changes, but none so significant as the 2005 enhancements. The enhanced standards were developed in order to raise the bar of veterinary excellence. AAHA wanted to ensure they reflect the developments made over the past 10 years in veterinary medicine in addition to AAHA’s team philosophy. We recognize that practice team members make significant contributions to the delivery of quality care and the overall success of every veterinary practice.
AAHA is the only organization that accredits veterinary practices throughout North America. Practices that accept the challenge of accreditation are evaluated on stringent quality standards that encompass all aspects of pet care – ranging from patient care and pain management, to team training and medical record-keeping. The AAHA Standards of Accreditation are continuously updated to keep accredited practices at the forefront of veterinary medicine and advanced business practices.
The enhanced standards of accreditation cover the following areas:
- Anesthesia: Methods for assessing anesthetic needs in patients and appropriateness of equipment
- Client Service: Communicates well with clients during all aspects of their visit
- Contagious Disease: Protocols, processes and facilities to handle contagious diseases and avoid outbreaks
- Continuing Education: Continuing education tools and opportunities for staff members
- Dentistry: Safe dental procedures that protect both the patient and staff members
- Diagnostic Imaging: Safe dental procedures that protect both the patient and staff members
- Emergency: Equipment handling and process for emergencies
- Examination Room: Properly equipped for thorough examinations
- Housekeeping: Cleanliness
- Human Resources: Handling of personnel matters
- Laboratory: Laboratory services for the prompt diagnosis of patients
- Leadership: Leadership’s commitment to creating a positive work environment and providing high-quality care
- Medical Records: Continuity of care through medical record details
- Pain Management: Pain assessment, management and training
- Patient Care: Humane and advantageous care to patients during all aspects of their visit
- Pharmacy: Proper handling, storing and dispensing of medications
- Safety: Safety of environment for patients, clients and team
- Surgery: Patient safety in an aseptic environment with appropriate pre- and post-operative considerations
What AAHA Accreditation Means For You
South Side Veterinary Hospital is an accredited member of the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA). Since 1974, we have regularly undergone inspections by AAHA to ensure that we comply with the association’s high quality standards of care. These standards cover nearly every aspect of our hospital, including surgery, pharmacy, laboratory, exam facilities, pet health records, cleanliness, emergency services, dental and nursing care, diagnostic imaging, and anesthesiology. Approximately 15 percent of animal hospitals in North America are accredited by AAHA.