The American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) is a nonprofit organization that offers accreditation for veterinarian facilities across the United States and Canada. AAHA’s primary purpose is to help veterinary professionals deliver exceptional care for a variety of pets.
Accreditation from the AAHA is a badge of excellence for veterinary practices that meet or exceed standards for pursuing continuous educational programs, managing their facilities and fulfilling clients’ and pets’ needs. A veterinary clinic does not need AAHA accreditation to operate, as this certification is entirely voluntary. However, AAHA accreditation is an essential designation for animal care facilities and enables pet owners to choose a veterinary office with greater confidence.
What Are the AAHA Standards for Accreditation?
All AAHA-accredited practices undergo evaluation based on strict standards encompassing all aspects of veterinary medicine, from pain management to medical recordkeeping. AAHA continuously updates its standards to ensure all accredited practices continue to serve as leaders in the veterinary profession.
While AAHA accreditation is voluntary, many practices become AAHA members to signal that their practice delivers quality care. Achieving this designation establishes greater trust between pet owners and providers and raises the bar for the entire veterinary field.
Practices seeking AAHA accreditation undergo evaluation on nearly 50 mandatory standards that encompass:
- Patient care: All patient care must be under the authority and supervision of a licensed veterinarian.
- Facility: The veterinary clinic must meet AAHA standards and appropriate protocols to guide facility usage, equipment and supplies.
- Services: The provider must be a full-service veterinary practice and offer dental services, diagnostic imaging and surgery. The clinic must also provide hematology, serology, microbial cultures, toxicology and emergency services or a referral to an appropriate practice.
All practices seeking accreditation must meet standards for:
- Patient care
- Pain management
- Medical records
- Human resources
- Emergency and critical care
The accreditation process can take anywhere from two to six months.
Benefits of Safe Harbor Rescue Being AAHA Accredited
AAHA-accredited practices are essential for providing better care for pets and their owners. As an AAHA-accredited practice, we hold ourselves to a higher standard, and keeping pets healthy and happy is our priority. We prove this commitment by undergoing the AAHA’s strict evaluation process and maintaining accreditation.
Only 15% of veterinary practices across the United States and Canada have AAHA accreditation designation, which is a testament to AAHA’s strict standards and our practice’s ability to meet these standards. At Safe Harbor Rescue, the AAHA standards are the metric by which we constantly measure our practice’s worth. We choose to undergo the process of accreditation from the AAHA because we wish to use it as a model to recognize and define our brand and character.
We hold our staff to the highest standards in pet care. After all, pets do not choose their care — their owners do. AAHA standards define the quality care your pet deserves, and our accreditation helps you feel confident that they will receive that care at our practice.
How We Uphold AAHA Standards
As an AAHA-accredited facility, we prove that we are a capable practice with each client interaction. Accreditation is not about standing out from other veterinary practices — it means taking a stand for the care and safety of all pets who visit our practice. Additional benefits of choosing an AAHA-accredited facility, such as Safe Harbor Rescue, for your pet’s care include:
- Focus on pain management: You don’t want to see your pet in pain, and neither does their veterinarian. The AAHA’s comprehensive pain management plan lays the groundwork for veterinarians to practice safe and effective pain management.
- High anesthetic care standards: Our team follows AAHA standards for anesthetic care. We will closely monitor your pet throughout surgical procedures.
- Cleanliness protocols: Sterile environments are essential to any medical practice. Following AAHA standards, our clinic demonstrates our dedication to cleanliness and ensures every surface is clean and safe.
- Better practice management: The AAHA establishes systems to help practices improve their management skills. These programs place a significant focus on taking care of staff so they can provide better care.
- Mandatory continuing education requirements: Our team members must complete required courses and attend conferences to advance their knowledge, equipping them to provide better patient care.
Request an Appointment at Safe Harbor Rescue Today
Better pet care is within reach when you schedule an appointment. To learn more about services and how our AAHA accreditation sets us above the rest, please request an appointment or call Safe Harbor Rescue at 630-943-0248. See the difference this designation makes when you meet with our AAHA-accredited staff for all of your veterinary needs.