Educational Blog

The Importance of AAHA Accreditation

A very happy golden retriever sitting next to his owner on the couch. Owner is on their laptop and wearing a plaid shirt

Here at Animal Medical & Surgical Center we are proud of our AAHA accreditation, and look forward to sharing the story behind this esteemed designation.

Having functioning health care facilities is a key component in our well-ordered society, and one that we place great importance on. Most of us take for granted that our hospitals, clinics, and other medical operations all must adhere to a rigid set of standards in order to be accredited, and thus keep their doors open.

When it comes to the accreditation process for veterinary practices in the U.S., the standards are just as rigid. Here at Animal Medical & Surgical Center we are proud of our AAHA accreditation, and look forward to sharing the story behind this esteemed designation.

What Is AAHA Accreditation?

The American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) was founded in 1933, and is the only professional organization to accredit veterinary practices in the United States and Canada.

Unlike with human hospitals, accreditation by the AAHA is voluntary, and currently only 12-15% of veterinary practices are accredited. Practices must willingly submit to the AAHA inspection to prove they meet the standards set by the organization.

Worth the Time

In order to become accredited, a veterinary hospital must be evaluated on over 900 standards of veterinary excellence, including:

  • Patient care
  • Pain management
  • Examination facilities
  • Diagnostics
  • Anesthesia
  • Surgery
  • Laboratory
  • Pharmacy
  • Medical records
  • Contagious disease management
  • Dental care
  • Emergency & critical care
  • Client service
  • Continuing education
  • Housekeeping & maintenance
  • Leadership
  • Referral standards
  • Safety

These standards are continually evaluated and updated in order to stay current with the latest in scientific advancements and developments in veterinary medicine. To stay accredited, a practice must undergo an on-site audit every 3 years, and veterinarians are required to have over 50 hours of continuing education each year. In addition, all staff members must remain current on new trends in their areas of expertise.

Why Choose an AAHA-Accredited Practice?

Giving our clients a tangible way to know that we are practicing at the highest level of medicine is why Animal Medical & Surgical Center has been a proud member of the AAHA since 1978. Meeting the stringent expectations set forth by AAHA for the past 39 years is a challenge we have gladly accepted, since it puts us closer to our goal of providing the best possible care for our beloved patients!

If you have more questions about our AAHA accreditation, please don’t hesitate to ask. We love hearing from you!