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What the heck is AAHA???
Established in 1933 by leaders in the veterinary profession, the American Animal Hospital Associate (AAHA) is the only companion animal exclusive veterinary association. AAHA is best known for its accreditation of companion animal practices. To become accredited, companion animal hospitals undergo regular comprehensive evaluations by AAHA veterinary experts who evaluate the practice on approximately 900 standards of veterinary care. The Association also develops other publications and educational programs and resources designed to help companion animal hospitals thrive. The AAHA membership philosophy is team-focused, allowing every hospital staff member, from veterinarians to receptionists, to benefit from AAHA’s resources through one group membership. Today, over 3,600 practice teams (12-15 % of all veterinary practices in the United States and Canada) are AAHA accredited.
So, YES! We are AAHA accredited!
Not all animal hospitals are accredited. Nearly 60% of pet owners think their pet's veterinary hospital is accredited when it is not. In fact, only about 3,600 (12-15%) animal hospitals in the United States and Canada are accredited. Unlike human hospitals, not all animal hospitals are required to be accredited.
What does accreditation mean? It means our hospital holds itself to a higher standard, and that your pet is receiving care at a hospital that has passed the highest standards in veterinary care.
Accreditation is difficult.
First, imagine reading the over 900 standards of care that have to be met. Then you have to actually understand them all, and make the ones you aren't already doing reality (luckily we intended to be AAHA when we opened, so we were already on the right track). These standards are about everything from patient care to how we take x-rays to how we manage infectious disease control to how we educate clients to what to eat for breakfast (ok, that last one is a fib).
Then, every bit of it has to be written down and documented. Imagine writing down line by line the instructions for how you do every single thing you do at work all day. It's crazy. Printed out the notebook is a weapon it's so heavy. But unless you write it all down you can't be sure everyone who works at the hospital knows it the same way.
Then you have to do it. Right. All day, every day - not just when the inspector is there.
There's a saying that goes: Integrity is doing the right thing, even if nobody is watching.
That's what we do. We do it right because we care.