Aha for AAHA – Understanding Accreditation

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On all of Blum Animal Hospital’s materials, we proudly display that we are AAHA Accredited, but some of our clients may not know what this means. In all aspects of the hospital, we strive to be the best and are proud that we won Best Vet in the city by the Chicago Reader five of the past six years.

What is an accredited animal hospital? The American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) was established in 1933 by prominent figures in the veterinary industry, and among its many facets, is most well-known for its accreditation of companion animal practices. Blum is evaluated every three years by the AAHA on approximately 900 different standards of veterinary care. Per the AAHA, these standards “address patient care and pain management, surgery, pharmacy, laboratory, exam facilities, medical records, cleanliness, emergency services, dental care, diagnostic imaging, anesthesiology, and continuing education.”

This means that here at Blum we want to make sure our clients are receiving top notch care for their furry family members. Upon entering, we make sure our lobby is clean and organized. When your pet goes back to the exam room for the appointment, every doctor will assess their level of pain as a routine part of each visit. If your pet comes in for an anesthetic procedure, what is being done will be confirmed and any necessary lab work will be performed before it starts. Once it begins, our staff wears the appropriate attire including sterile gowns and gloves, disposable or laundered masks, and uses only instruments that have been sterilized for that procedure. If your pet is here for surgery, there is a surgery suite that is used only for aseptic surgical procedures. They are also monitored very closely while under anesthesia by either a veterinary technician or assistant, and are not left alone until they are fully awake and comfortable from the procedure. This is only a sampling of the thorough standards Blum is held to in order to remain accredited.

Unlike human hospitals who must become accredited if they treat people with Medicare, accreditation for animal hospitals is voluntary. Less than 15 percent of animal hospitals in the United States are accredited, and Blum wants to make sure we hold ourselves to the highest standard of care and customer service possible.  

Written for Blum Animal Hospital by Jackie Sheppard.