Our four-legged companions are loyal friends, and we carry the responsibility of ensuring they are happy and healthy through their grey muzzle years. This involves one of your most important decisions for your pet—choosing a family veterinarian. The huge number of good veterinary practices can make that choice overwhelming.
Our Lebanon Animal Hospital team has gone the extra mile to ensure your pet receives the highest quality veterinary care. Our hospital is the only Lebanon-area veterinary hospital to receive AAHA accreditation, and we want pet owners to understand why this certification is important for your pet.
What is an AAHA-accredited veterinary hospital?
The American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) is a non-profit organization founded in 1933 by a small group of veterinary professionals who were leaders in the world of small animal medicine. This group wanted to raise the veterinary excellence bar by developing and promoting standards that would ensure the level of care provided to pets was increased beyond minimal standards. AAHA provides guidelines for all aspects of small animal veterinary practice, including vaccine protocols and medical record-keeping, and creates and distributes detailed, up-to-date educational materials and publications for veterinarians and pet owners. The standards and guidelines are constantly reviewed and adjusted to meet scientific advancements in veterinary medical care.
AAHA is the only small animal veterinary practice accrediting body in the U.S. and Canada, and Lebanon Animal Hospital is one of fewer than 15% of veterinary hospitals that have earned this designation. AAHA members and certified hospitals vastly benefit from AAHA’s mission, which includes:
- Medical care — Enhancing your veterinarian’s ability to provide quality medical care for your pet
- Practice standards — Enabling your veterinarian’s ability to maintain their practice facility with high standards of excellence
- Customer service — Meeting pet owners’ needs with the delivery of quality small animal veterinary care
How do veterinary hospitals become AAHA-accredited?
AAHA accreditation is strictly a voluntary process, and the designation indicates that your veterinary practice has gone through a rigorous and challenging evaluation from AAHA-designated hospital evaluators. The AAHA Standards and Accreditation team has established 945 standards in 18 categories that cover all areas of veterinary practice, including surgical protocols, pain management, record keeping, patient care, and hospital safety.
AAHA practice consultants will visit hospitals that wish to gain accreditation, and make a detailed onsite inspection and evaluation, to ensure the practice meets AAHA’s stringent standards. The onsite evaluation can take from three hours to several days, depending on practice size and number of areas undergoing evaluation. Once they are accredited, hospitals must maintain these standards and renew their accreditation every three years. Recertification is not guaranteed, and our Lebanon Animal Hospital team works diligently to ensure we maintain the highest level of excellence in veterinary medical care. In fact, our hospital is currently preparing for our next evaluation in May, to ensure we pass with flying colors.
Why is AAHA accreditation important for your pet?
More than 85% of pet owners prefer an AAHA-accredited veterinary practice, although a non-accredited practice does not mean a low standard of care. However, by choosing a veterinary hospital like ours that voluntarily adheres to higher, more rigorous standards, pet owners are ensured their pet will receive the highest, most up-to-date standard of veterinary care. Continuous veterinary medicine advancements mean that pets are living longer, healthier lives, and pet owners can take comfort in knowing that as we work to maintain our AAHA accreditation, their pets are receiving care that exceeds industry standards.
AAHA standards are an integral part of every aspect of our Lebanon Animal Hospital. For example, we understand that many pet owners may be reluctant to bring their pets for a shot or wellness examination, so we recommend only vaccinations that we tailor specifically to your pet’s risk factors, life stage, and lifestyle needs. Plus, our recommendations are based on AAHA’s vaccination guidelines, which are regularly evaluated and updated.
Many pet owners also worry about procedures that require anesthesia, such as a dental cleaning or spay and neuter procedure, However, AAHA-accredited hospitals follow the most up-to-date, rigorous anesthesia protocols and monitoring, so we can ensure your pet is safe through all aspects of their procedure. Like vaccination guidelines, these standards are regularly reviewed and provided to our hospital team.
Our Lebanon Animal Hospital team is proud to be an AAHA-accredited hospital, and will continue to hold ourselves to the highest standards of pet care. Call our office if you have any questions about AAHA accreditation, or to schedule an appointment.