AAHA Hospital Standards

Hospital membership signifies a commitment to excellence and is only available to veterinary hospitals in the United States and Canada that subscribe to and meet the high standards for medical practice established by AAHA. Evidence of adherence to the Association’s established Standards is determined through periodic on-site evaluations.

Mandatory requirements for AAHA Accredited Hospitals

    • Medical Records Services – A legible, individual record must be maintained for every patient. It must indicate the problem, history, examination findings and plan for care. It must include complete detailed record keeping for all controlled substance use is mandatory.
    • Examination Facilities – Examination facilities must be provided and properly equipped.
    • Pharmacy – Facilities must be provided for storage, safekeeping, preparation, and use of drugs in accordance with federal, state, and provincial laws. Complete detailed record keeping for all controlled substance use is mandatory.
    • Pathology – Pathology services must be provided in-hospital or through outside sources.
    • Diagnostic Imaging – The hospital must have the capacity to generate quality radiographic images on the premises.
    • Anesthesiology – Anesthetic services must include proper equipment and procedures for quality patient care and employee safety.
    • Surgery – Aseptic procedures, proper attire, and a separate room or aseptic surgery must be provided.
    • Dentistry – Prophylactic dental services (scaling and polishing) must be provided.
    • Nursing Care – Nursing care must be provided by properly trained staff. All patients must be positively and properly identified during their hospital stay. Convalescent and exercise areas must be adequate.
    • Housekeeping and Maintenance – There must be a written program for establishing and maintaining a safe, sanitary, functional, and pleasant environment for clients, patients, and employees.
    • Continuing Education – A medical library consisting of basic textbooks and current periodicals must be provided.
    • Emergency Services – Emergency services must be provided and must be readily available at all times.
    • Satellite Clinics – Satellite Clinics must provide services in the following areas consistent with AAHA standards: medical records services, examination facilities, pharmacy, pathology, nursing care, housekeeping and maintenance, and emergency services.
    • Emergency Hospitals – Emergency Hospitals must meet all the criteria of an AAHA full-service accredited hospital. They must provide professional diagnostic and emergency treatment during hours when local veterinary facilities are normally closed and are not themselves providing after-hours emergency services.