July 22 marks AAHA Accredited Hospital Day—a day to encourage awareness about the meaning of an accredited practice, and how this affects pet owners, who ultimately make the decision about who cares for their beloved furry friends. It is also a day to recognize the veterinary practices that have successfully taken the path toward accreditation, which is no easy task. Before we get into the details, let’s answer a few common questions about AAHA, and the accreditation process. 

Question: What is AAHA?

Answer: AAHA is an acronym for the American Animal Hospital Association, one of the veterinary industry’s most notable organizations. AAHA is an organization of professionals who are dedicated to the advancement of veterinary medicine and patient care. Their guidelines and stringent accreditation process make them well-respected pioneers in the field. Veterinarians, veterinary technicians, practice managers, and other veterinary professionals agree that AAHA provides invaluable resources that elevate patient care, and help hospitals run smoothly, resulting in a remarkable experience for pet owners. 

Q: What does it mean to be AAHA-accredited?

A: AAHA’s well-known accreditation process requires adherence to a strict set of standards that address all areas of veterinary practice. From anesthesia, to hospital safety, to medical record-keeping, AAHA’s 900-point evaluation system ensures that an accredited hospital achieves superiority in a myriad of ways. Accreditation holds veterinary practices to a higher standard, ensuring remarkable patient care, and an improved client experience. 

Q: Why did we choose to undergo this rigorous process?

A: At Urgent Pet Care Omaha, we knew that AAHA accreditation meant more work for us, but we also knew it meant big things for our team and our clients. In our eyes, pursuing AAHA accreditation was an easy choice. Here’s why:

  • We want nothing less than the best for your pet — The recommendations set forth by AAHA’s standards of care are, bar none, exceptional. As veterinary professionals, we naturally know what it takes to provide great care to our patients, but AAHA’s Standards of Accreditation give us the tools we need to set higher goals, which means great things for your pet. Here are some examples of patient-care categories that AAHA addresses:
    • Anesthetic protocols
    • Pain management
    • Behavior management
    • Preventive care
    • Fluid therapy
    • Oncology
    • End of life care

Pet owners can get a feel for AAHA’s standards of care with their guidelines for pet owners page, which offers articles on a variety of topics that are addressed in AAHA’s accreditation process. 

  • We care deeply about the client experience — Did you know that most pet owners prefer an AAHA-accredited hospital for their pet, and that many seek out accredited practices? A 2016 study revealed the obvious—pet owners care about the veterinary experience. While AAHA focuses much of its attention on patient care and safety, the guidelines for the team and hospital as a whole help our practice function efficiently and smoothly, which ultimately creates a great experience for our clients. AAHA helps our hospital run effectively by helping us adhere to guidelines surrounding:
    • Medical record-keeping
    • Client communication
    • Team-building
    • Hospital safety

  • We love the challenge — Veterinarians, veterinary technicians, and other veterinary professionals are no strangers to challenging, rewarding work. We thrive on problem-solving and, most importantly, helping your pets feel their best. As a proud AAHA-accredited hospital, Urgent Pet Care Omaha not only went through the rigorous steps to achieve this status of excellence, but we continue to do so on a regular basis. You see, AAHA-accreditation is not a one-time procedure, but an ongoing process that requires practices to grow and develop as veterinary medicine and technology evolves. Partaking in this process is no easy feat, but the results are infinitely worth it.

Have you witnessed AAHA’s standards of care in action at our hospital? Drop us a line, and let us know how we are doing. We want our clients to understand and appreciate the AAHA experience, so feel free to share your experiences with us, and spread the word.