The American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) is a renowned organization that holds veterinary hospitals to exceptional standards. When veterinary practice owners undergo the rigorous AAHA accreditation process, they learn the necessary tools for effective management and, most importantly, the best practices for veterinary medicine and safety. Accreditation means great things for your pet, and University Veterinary Hospital wears the AAHA badge proudly. Here’s why you should be excited, too:

#1: AAHA holds us to higher standards

The hallmark of AAHA accreditation revolves around patient safety and excellent standards of medical care. This includes protocols that elevate anesthetic safety, provide superior pain management, and excellent preventive care. As veterinary professionals, we learn how to take great care of pets, thanks to our extensive schooling and training, but AAHA helps us attain more effective principles of care. AAHA not only provides us with tools like protocol handbooks and reference guides, but they also take the time to teach and mentor us, so we can take the absolute best care of your furry family members. 

#2:  AAHA accreditation is voluntary and never guaranteed

AAHA’s stringent requirements mean that only a select few veterinary practices choose to attempt accreditation. Since accreditation is completely voluntary, no facility is required to uphold AAHA’s standards of excellence, and, in fact, only 12% to 15% of U.S. and Canadian practices hold the “AAHA-accredited” designation. This doesn’t mean that other veterinary practices are incapable of great pet care, but the AAHA badge implies that a hospital has voluntarily taken that extra step toward quality pet care and pet owner experience—we simply set higher standards. 

AAHA accreditation involves a lengthy preparation process that culminates in an in-person visit by an accreditor to ensure the prospective hospital is following all of the AAHA standards. After accreditation is granted, periodic visits take place, so AAHA is certain all of the hospitals bearing their designation adhere to the highest standards of care.

#3: AAHA teaches us how to manage our practice to better serve you

While many of AAHA’s standards of care are focused on pet care and safety, they also help our hospital operate more smoothly and efficiently. With their guidelines on team training and medical record-keeping, AAHA-accredited hospitals are organized and well-managed, culminating in an incredible client experience. From check-in to check-out, we streamline your pet’s appointment process so your pets get what they need, and you can move on with your day. Digital, organized medical records are easy for you to read, and see what your pet needs, without having to decipher your veterinarian’s handwriting! These are a few examples of how AAHA helps University Veterinary Hospital better serve our clients. 

#4: AAHA standards of care evolve over time

As veterinary medicine and technology advances, veterinary teams must acquire new knowledge and improve their skills. AAHA helps us do that, by evolving their standards over time. As medical record-keeping moves into the paperless realm, and diagnostic tools become more digitized, AAHA stays up-to-date on the latest technologies, and incorporates them into their practices, including our hospital. For example, AAHA hospitals must maintain specific equipment to help veterinarians practice to the highest diagnostic, therapeutic, and safety standards, such as a digital X-ray unit, dental X-ray capabilities, and anesthesia monitoring. Pet owners can rest assured that we are constantly learning, developing, and improving, as the veterinary world evolves. 

#5: Most pet owners prefer AAHA-accredited practices

In a 2016 study by Trone Energy, AAHA reported that “85% of pet owners would choose an AAHA-accredited hospital over a nonaccredited hospital.” Most pet owners also indicated that they would be willing to travel farther for an AAHA practice. Many actively search for the AAHA-accredited designation when seeking out a new veterinary practice for their pets. It’s obvious—AAHA accreditation means a lot not only to practice owners, but also to pet owners. Find out more about the research here

We are dedicated to giving our clients and patients the care they deserve. That’s why we pursued and successfully achieved AAHA accreditation. Read more about why AAHA accreditation matters here, and check out their informative page of guidelines for pet owners, which breaks down their detailed veterinary protocols into easily digestible material. As always, feel free to contact us with any questions.