Your pet is a beloved family member, and we want to provide the best care possible for your cherished companion. To accomplish that goal, we’ve become AAHA-accredited, and maintained our accreditation status during our triennial evaluation. But, what exactly does AAHA accreditation mean for your pet, and who is AAHA? Let’s explain this highly esteemed veterinary organization, by answering some frequently asked questions.
Question: Who is AAHA?
Answer: AAHA stands for the American Animal Hospital Association, an organization that offers accreditation to veterinary practices committed to providing excellent care to their patients. AAHA is the only institution that accredits companion veterinary hospitals in the U.S. and Canada, and was built on the premise that pets deserve nothing less than the absolute best veterinary care. For non-accredited practices, AAHA still offers a guiding hand by providing cutting-edge information and frequent updates that help veterinary professionals develop evidence-based protocols.
Q: How does a veterinary practice become accredited?
A: Unlike human hospitals, veterinary practices do not have to be accredited to care for their patients, and are not held to strict professional standards that undergo routine evaluation. However, while most veterinary practices strive to offer the best possible medicine, AAHA-accredited practices take this dedication a step further. During the lengthy accreditation process, a veterinary practice is evaluated on more than 900 standards of care, to ensure they practice the best medicine. Bringing a practice up to AAHA standards can take months to fulfill all the necessary requirements and training, and only a devoted veterinary team is able to achieve this high honor.
Q: How are veterinary practices evaluated to become accredited?
A: To achieve accreditation, veterinary practices are evaluated on 940 standards of care covering 18 categories of veterinary medicine. Standards range from recordkeeping and client communication, to pain management and anesthesia. Each standard is exhaustively researched and documented by a committee of experts in the field. Individual standards include many aspects of veterinary practice, such as:
- Specifications for the drugs a veterinary hospital must stock at all times
- How different practice rooms must be cleaned and disinfected
- How to communicate with clients
- How to run the practice in an ecologically sound manner
- The purpose-dedicated rooms required of the practice
Although not all standards must be met, a practice is required to adhere to a specific number before accreditation is granted.
Q: How many veterinary practices have achieved accreditation?
A: Only 12% to 15% of U.S. and Canadian veterinary practices have endeavored to achieve accreditation, so not many are available to care for your pet. Here in Lebanon, we are proud of our status as the only accredited veterinary hospital in our area. Accreditation requires such an incredible commitment by the entire practice team, and is difficult to achieve. But, AAHA accreditation, by enabling and guiding veterinary practices to offer their patients state-of-the-art care, is an extremely valuable practice tool.
Q: Is AAHA accreditation lifelong?
A: Once a veterinary practice gains accreditation, that does not mean their work is done. An AAHA-accredited hospital must undergo routine evaluations, to ensure they are still adhering to the standards of care, and engaging in continuing education and practice updates, to stay on top of innovative medical developments.
Q: Why should I choose an AAHA-accredited veterinary practice to care for my pet?
A: There are more than 900 reasons to choose an AAHA-accredited veterinary practice, and offer gold-standard care to your beloved companion. Although all veterinarians have taken an oath to strive to provide the best of care, AAHA-accredited practices and professionals are held to the highest of standards, to ensure they practice five-star medicine. When your pet comes to Lebanon Animal Hospital for care, you can rest assured they are in excellent hands. Whether they come for routine wellness care, a complicated dental procedure, or a life-threatening emergency situation, our highly skilled team will adhere to all of AAHA’s standards, and ensure your pet receives top-notch care.
As the only AAHA-accredited veterinary hospital in the Lebanon area, you can rest assured that your beloved companion will receive the best possible care at Lebanon Animal Hospital. See for yourself the difference gold-standard veterinary care can make for your four-legged friend by scheduling an appointment.