The next time you come to our hospital, check out the window sticker on the door. It’s red with the letters AAHA in it. No, it’s not an ode to an 80’s band song (does anyone else remember Wham!?). It’s not us reacting with surprise on seeing you either. AAHA stands for the American Animal Hospital Association, an organization made up of small animal veterinarians from around the country whose mission is to enhance the abilities of veterinarians to provide quality medical care to companion animals, enable veterinarians to successfully conduct their practices and maintain their facilities with high standards of excellence and to meet the public’s needs as they relate to the delivery of small animal veterinary medicine.
AAHA provides continuing education conferences featuring top veterinarians in small animal medicine, a wide variety of reference materials and a constant flow of information about current technology and advances in veterinary medicine and surgery. They also represent the gold standard of practice with their renowned accreditation. AAHA evaluates practices for over 900 standards that cover everything from the surgical suite to record keeping to employee management. Only 15% of veterinary practices in the county achieve these high standards and we are very proud to be one of them.
In order to achieve (and maintain) accreditation, our hospital was given an extensive and detailed list of requirements. Reading through it made us realize that we already met or exceeded the vast majority of these standards, making accreditation a logical choice. Some of the things required by AAHA include having a well-run surgical area with proper scrubbing, monitoring and pain management, documentation of yearly continuing education for the veterinarians, and provision for close supervision and appropriate treatment of hospitalized patients.
All of our veterinarians attend at least one large veterinary conference each year as well as local meetings. We also have frequent in-house continuing education where we bring veterinary specialists to our hospital. We have had oncologists, anesthesiologists, dermatologists, ophthalmologists, pain management specialists, dentists and surgeons among others spend time at our practice to work with us one-on-one. Our veterinary technicians and office staff also receive continuing education both in-house and at meetings.
Although not required by AAHA, but because we strive to provide the best medicine possible, we utilize the most modern technology and techniques, including digital radiology (x-rays taken by computer rather than film), dental radiology, orthopedic and soft tissue surgery, ultrasound, endoscopy, chemotherapy and stem cell therapy.
If you would like to know more about AAHA or accreditation, just ask next time you come by! We’d be happy to talk with you.