On behalf of The American Animal Hospital Association, please accept our congratulations for achieving AAHA accreditation. You and your team’s accomplishments providing excellent patient care and client service certainly deserve high praise. We know first-hand the high level of dedication, communication, training, and leadership required to maintain the quality of care your team delivers. Kudos to each and every one of your team!

We hope you will find this summary letter an adjunct to the evaluation and a springboard to continuous improvement.

The following were noted as outstanding components of your evaluation:

  • You have well-written standard operating protocols.
  • The staff exhibited admirable teamwork.
  • The practice exemplifies good implementation of the AAHA standards of excellence.
  • The hospital is sparkling clean and fresh smelling, an important criterion to new and existing clients!

Below, we have presented your scores in table version. Please remember that the standards include many items that veterinary hospitals implement to different degrees. Our common goal is to provide continuously improving, quality patient care.

AAHA Standards Section Maximum
Anesthesia 2920 2040 2640 Passed
Client Service 500 370 500 Passed
Contagious Disease 660 380 640 Passed
Continuing Education 480 200 480 Passed
Dentistry 1380 920 1300 Passed
Diagnostic Imaging 2570 1670 2290 Passed
Emergency and Critical Care 930 530 870 Passed
Examination Facilities 290 270 290 Passed
Housekeeping and Maintenance 1280 1130 1260 Passed
Human Resources 840 600 840 Passed
Laboratory 1740 1130 1700 Passed
Leadership 1060 580 800 Passed
Medical Records 2890 1970 2830 Passed
Pain Management 880 620 880 Passed
Patient Care 5810 4240 5520 Passed
Pharmacy 1700 1280 1640 Passed
Referral Standards 500 150 500 Passed
Safety 1210 810 990 Passed
Surgery 3620 2610 3280 Passed


We have taken the liberty of making suggestions based upon your evaluation. The following list should be understood as items that are areas for improvement as measured against the standards. Many of these were discussed during the evaluation and would be useful for the practice and practice team. We hope you will consider them and institute the items that you believe will benefit the hospital.


Implementation of an emergency plan for anesthetized patients is a simple step that raises team member awareness and provides an enhanced level of safety for patients. The emergency drug calculator you are using is a quick, simple, and time saving step that will be a great asset to team members.Great job implementing the new standard for single-use endotracheal tubes. The reduced risk of cross-contamination and potential tracheal irritants has proven beneficial to patients.

Contagious Disease

Great job stocking the isolation room with the necessary items for patient care. This time saving measure increases staff efficiency which enhances the quality of patient care.


Your practice deserves a round of applause for wearing proper protective equipment when performing dental procedures. Kudos to the staff for taking additional measures to reduce contamination between patients by utilizing sterile instruments, disposable prophy angles, as well as pre-packaged cups of prophy paste.

Diagnostic Imaging

Congratulations on converting to digital radiography. The high quality radiographs produced by your practice not only enhances staff efficiency it also increases the diagnostic capability of your practice, thus improving patient care.

Housekeeping and Maintenance

Your facility was clean, odor free, and very well organized. Having properly organized storage areas helps your team maintain equipment and track inventory supplies more efficiently. Keep up the good job!

Medical Records

  • MR12: A separate summary listing of the patient’s problems is maintained.

Recommendation: A well-maintained problem list creates an easily accessible summary of a patient’s presenting problems. In a multi-doctor practice, this can be quite helpful, especially if an associate is seeing a patient normally seen by another veterinarian. At a glance, you can be familiar with the medical history. It also can point out reoccurring problems or patterns of disease. Correction-will make better use of master problem sheet.

  • MR34: Written discharge instructions are effectively communicated and given to the client. A copy is maintained in the medical record.

Recommendation: To better facilitate client compliance and patient recovery, written discharge instructions should be provided. A signed copy should be kept in the patient’s medical record. Correction- will have owner initial go home


  • PH16f: Each label contains the following information: Usage directions including route of administration such as by mouth, in the ears, etc.

Recommendation: Usage directions should be explicit in order to avoid client misunderstanding. Using phrases such as “orally”, or “by mouth” with pill medications and hourly increments, such as every 12 hours rather than twice daily, is recommended.Correction-use suggested terminology.


  • SX25.1: The practice routinely performs spore testing utilizing biological indicators for sterilization systems and documents the results.

Recommendation: The use of autoclave sterilization has been an indispensable method of assuring that surgical instruments are sterile and safe. What assurance do you have that your autoclave is functioning properly? Although autoclave indicator tape and sterilometers verify proper temperature, time, and steam quality, spore testing simulates a true “challenge” of the sterilization equipment. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) state that, “Proper functioning of sterilization cycles should be verified by the periodic use (at least weekly) of biological indicators (i.e., spore tests).” This idea is also supported by AORN (Association of Operating Room Nurses) and the AAMI (Association for the Advancement of Medical Instruments). Both of these organizations stress the importance of sport testing weekly. This is more important now than ever due to the rising incidence of MRSA (Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureas) seen in veterinary practice. Spore testing is one way to assure that the autoclave is reaching proper pressure, temperature and time to penetrate and kill the spores of MRSA as well as other microorganisms that can harm a patient. Researching options for veterinary field.