Our family here at Huntington Veterinary Hospital is excited to share that we recently passed our triennial AAHA inspection and are now going on over 12 years as an accredited animal hospital! 

While we may be ecstatic, don’t be embarrassed if you are not entirely familiar with what it means to be an AAHA accredited hospital. We’re more than happy to explain the AAHA difference and why it matters.

All About AAHA

AAHA stands for the American Animal Hospital Association. Founded in 1933, AAHA was initially formed to help ensure the highest and best quality care for pet patients.

The organization has worked to identify veterinary hospitals across the United States and Canada who meet their high standards for care. In fact, less than 15% of veterinary practices in these countries can claim to be AAHA accredited. 

AAHA is the only organization that accredits veterinary hospitals and the process is completely voluntary. When you see a practice such as ours that is AAHA accredited, you can be sure that the staff there is dedicated to providing excellent care and the work it takes to continue to improve as medicine and standards change. 

The Path to Being an AAHA Accredited Hospital 

An AAHA accreditation doesn’t happen overnight. The veterinary practice must first apply for pre-accredited status and then work with an AAHA accreditation specialist to be sure that the hospital meets the over 900 standards that have been identified by the board. The hospital must comply with over 50 mandatory standards and a predetermined percentage of the others that meet the practice’s unique size and scope. 

AAHA standards exist in the areas of:

  • Anesthesia
  • Client service
  • Contagious disease
  • Continuing education
  • Dentistry
  • Diagnostic imaging
  • Emergency and critical care
  • Examination facilities
  • Housekeeping and maintenance
  • Human resources
  • Internship
  • Laboratory
  • Leadership
  • Medical records
  • Mentorship
  • Pain management
  • Patient care
  • Pharmacy
  • Referral standards
  • Safety
  • Surgery

It’s not a short list! Many of these standards contain protocols to be followed about how we do things and why to ensure that we are doing things in the best way possible. What’s more is that these standards are always changing, because so is veterinary medicine.

Once a practice feels it has complied with the AAHA’s expectations, an onsite inspection is performed. An AAHA accreditation expert visits the practice, observes the way things are done from surgeries to record keeping to patient care. Protocols and patient records are reviewed. 

If the standards are met, only then can the hospital claim AAHA accredited status. It doesn’t end there, though. AAHA will visit every 2-3 years to perform additional inspections to be sure that the hospital is continuing to meet standards. It is quite the process.

You can see why we are so proud to bear AAHA Accreditation. Our dedication to this process and our mission statement means an excellent quality of care to our patients, a wonderful client service experience for you as the pet owner, and a sincere commitment to growth and continued evolution. 

You mean a lot to us, and we hope it shows! If you haven’t already, give us a call today to see our love for our work and our patients. You won’t be disappointed.