What’s Distinctive About an AAHA Hospital Member?
The Cat Clinic of Cobb is an accredited member of the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA). Since 1995, we have regularly undergone inspections by AAHA to ensure that we comply with the association’s high quality standards of care. These standards cover nearly every aspect of our hospital, including surgery, pharmacy, laboratory, exam facilities, medical records, cleanliness, emergency services, dental and nursing care, diagnostic imaging, and anesthesiology. In 1995, in 1999, and again in 2003, the Cat Clinic of Cobb achieved the highest level of accreditation, a four year certification. We are proud to announce in 2010 we passed our fifth accreditation with flying colors.
Less than 14 percent of animal hospitals in North America are accredited by AAHA. The AAHA accreditation takes on added significance in the state of Georgia, where there is no required state inspection program for veterinary hospital facilities at the present time.
To become an AAHA hospital member, the candidate hospital must meet AAHA’s standards for hospital services and facilities in twelve specific areas. A trained AAHA practice consultant visits the hospital to thoroughly evaluate the facility to be sure it complies with these standards. The following are some of the AAHA standards:
Orderly and Adequate Medical Records
These are critical for the pet’s welfare and continuity of care. Records are reviewed on-site as well as submitted to an outside consultant. There must be an individual record for each pet patient.
Complete Diagnostic Facilities
This represents three of the 12 specific areas, including the examination room, radiology services and clinical pathology services. It also covers the equipment necessary to provide comprehensive inpatient and outpatient services. The facility must be fully equipped to make prompt, accurate diagnosis and treatment. An on-site library of basic textbooks and current periodicals also is required.
Complete Pharmacy Facilities
The most frequently used medications must be available at all times, controlled substances must be monitored, and clients must be adequately informed concerning treatment.
Proper Anesthetic Procedures
The hospital must conduct a pre-anesthetic examination before surgery and provide a safe, painless, state-of-the-art anesthesia during surgery.
Modern Surgical Facilities
The hospital must have an aseptic, single-use room for surgery. Proper lighting, sterile equipment and procedures, and easy access to drugs and equipment are required.
This is a vital part of an efficient animal hospital. Skilled veterinary technicians contribute greatly to the professional care pets receive from diagnosis through recuperation.
Properly Maintained Environment
Safe and sanitary conditions must be maintained throughout the hospital, from the reception room to the kennel, including outside premises.
Each AAHA hospital must provide, or have access to, 24-hour emergency service for its clients.
Oral hygiene is as important to a pet’s health as it is to a person’s health. AAHA hospitals routinely perform teeth cleaning, extractions, and gum work.
Continuing education is the cornerstone of excellence in small animal care, so the hospital must have a comprehensive and updated medical library of textbooks and current periodicals for staff use.
For more information on AAHA, please visit www.healthypet.com.