Nine hundred. It’s a big number. It’s also the number of standards Lebanon Animal Hospital adheres to in order to maintain our accreditation status with the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA).
What is AAHA accreditation?
Any animal hospital can say they practice high-quality medicine. Any animal hospital can say they’ll exceed your expectations and go above and beyond for your pet. In reality, fewer than 15 percent of animal hospitals throughout the U.S. and Canada can truly make those claims. That’s because fewer than 15 percent of animal hospitals across the U.S. and Canada are AAHA-accredited.
Human hospitals are required to be regularly evaluated and accredited by an outside accrediting body to ensure they are complying with various standards. This oversight, which helps protect patients, hospital staff, and the public as a whole, is not a requirement in veterinary medicine.
Since 1933, AAHA has been evaluating and accrediting animal hospitals who voluntarily adhere to the rigorous AAHA Standards of Accreditation, a comprehensive set of approximately 900 standards relevant to veterinary medicine. Here’s a look at just a handful of these standards and what they mean for you and your pet:
- Humane handling — We understand the importance of helping pets to feel safe and comfortable during exams and procedures. Our team members are trained in proper restraint techniques and treat every pet with compassion.
- Multi-parameter monitoring — As an AAHA-accredited veterinary hospital, whenever anesthesia is used here, our staff uses equipment (in addition to physical observation) to monitor blood pressure, respiration, temperature, and heart rate, so anesthetized pets stay safe.
- Infection control — We work to prevent the spread of disease by implementing policies that include proper disinfection of patient areas, the use of antibacterial agents, and frequent hand washing or sanitizing.
- Thorough assessments — We get a complete picture of every pet’s health during our thorough assessments of all the major body systems—including the lungs, heart, ears, mouth, eyes, and more—during each exam and before every procedure.
- Responsiveness — If disaster strikes, we’re prepared and equipped to save lives. We keep vital supplies appropriately stocked, clearly labeled, and readily available in case of emergency.
Other animal hospitals may claim that they do those things, too. But, unless those hospitals are AAHA-accredited—unless they can proudly wear the AAHA logo on their building, their uniforms, their business cards, their website, etc.—pet owners can’t truly be sure that they will deliver exceptional care and service.
5 facts about AAHA accreditation
- Veterinary hospitals seeking to become AAHA-accredited go through a rigorous initial evaluation on approximately 900 standards of veterinary care.
- Once accredited, a veterinary practice is re-evaluated by an AAHA consultant after 2 years.
- After the 2-year evaluation, accredited hospitals are re-evaluated every 3 years on those same 900 standards of care.
- Nearly 60 percent of pet owners believe their veterinary hospital is accredited when it actually is not.
- Fewer than 15 percent of veterinary hospitals in the U.S. and Canada are accredited by AAHA.
At Lebanon Animal Hospital, we understand what your pet means to you, and we take our commitment to her health seriously. That’s why we’re proud to offer only the highest-quality care and service. We’re proud to adhere to approximately 900 standards. We’re proud to be AAHA-accredited.
Come see the AAHA difference for yourself. Call us at 615-444-4422 to schedule your pet’s next preventive care visit.