After winning American Animal Hospital Association Accredited Practice of the Year 2016 and our practice owner Dr. Guylaine Charette being named the AAHA President, the team at Pembroke Animal Hospital is trying more than ever to educate our community on the benefits of visiting an AAHA Accredited practice. When we treat our patients, make a recommendation and design a protocol, we do it the AAHA way. Being an AAHA practice was a choice- we choose to be held to a higher standard. But why should a pet owner choose an AAHA-Accredited practice for their pet? There are so many reasons! Here are 8 EXCELLENT reasons to choose the AAHA Champions of Excellence:
AAHA leads the way: Members of AAHA-Accredited practices are Champions of Excellence. AAHA sets the highest standards in the veterinary industry, and the practices bring their vision to life. When you visit an AAHA practice you can be sure that each team member is striving to reach a higher standard of care. The AAHA Standards of Accreditation include more than 900 standards of care that cover all areas of veterinary medicine. AAHA Accredited practices try to be better and re-evaluate themselves to always grow and improve.
Focus on proper pain management: No veterinarian wants to see a pet in pain. AAHA’s comprehensive pain management standards lay the groundwork for veterinarians to practice the safest and most effective pain management for every pet.
High standards for anesthetic care: There is not a pet owner in the world that isn’t nervous when their put goes under anesthetic. The team at an AAHA-Accredited practice knows this, and they follow the AAHA standards for anesthetic care which means that your pet is closely monitored throughout the surgical procedure while under anesthetic. AAHA provides veterinarians and their teams a strict protocol of standards to be followed for every anesthetic procedure performed. AAHA even has dental surgery standards to follow, to safely brighten those canine and feline smiles!
Protocols for cleanliness: A sterile environment is extremely important to any medical practice, whether the patients are pets or humans. Veterinary clinics are responsible for making their own protocols when it comes to hospital cleanliness. AAHA Accredited practices accept the challenge to take cleanliness to a higher level. AAHA Accredited practices volunteer to be inspected, and if you are visiting an AAHA practice you can trust that the team is taking great measures to ensure a hygienic and sterile clinic.
Better practice management and team wellness: AAHA has systems in place to better educate about proper practice management. AAHA supports the practice as a whole, educating practice managers on how to create a positive culture for patients and the team. AAHA also puts a huge focus on the mental wellbeing of their team members. AAHA takes care of their own, and teaches how important it is to support the entire industry.
Mandatory continuing education requirements: Part of keeping AAHA-Accreditation is mandatory continuing education. Team members of all different departments are required to complete courses, attend conferences and advance their knowledge- all for the benefit of your pet! These mandatory hours of continuing education are important because it keeps veterinarians and support staff informed of all the latest advancements in veterinary medicine.
Disease screening and prevention: AAHA provides their practices with in-depth protocols to aid veterinarians in preventing disease. It’s easier and more cost effective to prevent disease than it is to treat disease. AAHA practices even have strict protocols to put in place if a contagious pet enters the practice, to best ensure the safety of all other patients. Their standards even extend to diagnostics and laboratory practices. AAHA-Accredited practices also adopt the AAHA vaccine protocol, which means they use the most effective and well research plan for keeping pets up to date on vaccines. And if an AAHA-Accredited practice needs a veterinary specialist they seek out referrals from other practices that they trust.
Higher level of client service: While most of AAHA’s standards cover the best practices of veterinary medicine, AAHA also provides its Accredited practices with standards for excellent client service. AAHA-Accreditation is a job for the entire team, and AAHA supports that team from the front to the back.
The next time you walk into an AAHA-Accredited practice take a look around. Each team member you see rushing around to help a pet during an emergency situation, welcoming a new puppy into the clinic with open arms or trying to ensure a fear free visit for a frightened cat has made a conscious decision to go above and beyond for your pet. That’s the AAHA way!
By Stacey McIntyre-Gonzalez
Stacey is a CSR and Media Coordinator at Pembroke Animal Hospital. She has been working at PAH for almost 5 years. She enjoys hiking with her two mountain dogs Hazel and Keira and nature photography.
Photos by Stacey McIntyre-Gonzalez