What is AAHA?
The American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) is an international association of more than 42,000 veterinary care providers who treat companion animals. Established in 1933, AAHA is well known among veterinarians and pet owners for its standards for hospitals and pet health care. Approximately 3,200 veterinary hospitals voluntarily participate in the AAHA hospital evaluation program. Consultants regularly visit these hospitals to ensure compliance with AAHA’s standards for services and facilities. AAHA is the only organization that accredits animal hospitals throughout the U.S. and Canada. AAHA-accredited hospitals voluntarily choose to be evaluated on 900 standards in the following areas: quality of care; diagnostic & pharmacy; management; medical records; and facility.
Why does this matter to you?
Here are a few examples of how AAHA’s standards impact you and your pet.
- The standards require us to provide diagnostic services (x-ray and laboratory) so that we can quickly and accurately diagnose your pet.
- The standards focus on our quality of care in the areas of: anesthesia, contagious diseases, dentistry, pain management, patient care, surgery and emergency care.
- Accredited hospitals have an onsite pharmacy (another standards area) so we can begin treatment immediately.
AAHA standards also require that medical records be thorough and complete which helps us to better understand your pet’s medical history and how past health issues might be impacting their current medical status. The standards developed and published by AAHA are widely accepted as representing those components of veterinary practice that represent high quality care. The standards are periodically reviewed and updated to ensure that they remain consistent with evolving knowledge and technology. AAHA reminds pet owners that they can help pets live healthier and longer lives by taking their pets to the veterinarian for annual physical exams, vaccinations, and dental care as well as providing pets with fresh water, a balanced diet, and exercise.
What does this mean for us?
Accreditation helps us stay on the leading edge of veterinary medicine and provide the quality and range of services you and your pet deserve. We are evaluated on a regular basis to ensure we meet or exceed the over 900 standards. By making this commitment we believe that, not only do your pets get the best care possible, but our staff is proud to know that they are practicing quality medicine and care. Our staff also becomes more involved in the practice helping us to maintain and update our standards of care.With all these important aspects that AAHA gives to veterinary medicine, does it surprise you to know that the majority of veterinary hospitals are NOT AAHA accredited? Only about 12% of hospitals in the country are accredited, with PCAC being the only one in our area. So if you want peace of mind knowing you are getting the best care for your pet, Parker Center Animal Clinic’s AAHA accreditation can give you that.