May
23
2016

Have you ever wished your clients could see all the TLC and above-and-beyond medical care that occurs in your hospital on a daily basis?

For Doug Metzler, DVM, owner of AAHA-accredited Metzler Veterinary Hospital in Clearwater, Florida, the AAHA logo provides a tangible way to communicate what his hospital stands for—particularly when his clients cannot be there to see it for themselves.

At AAHA, we like to say our accredited hospitals are “Champions for Excellent Care,” and we urge them to publicize their accreditation using both the tools we’ve developed (aaha.org/publicity) and creative ideas of their own.

Metzler recently spoke with Trends about the power of the AAHA logo and how we can work together to make it even more meaningful for pet owners.

Trends: Metzler Veterinary Hospital became an AAHA-accredited hospital in 2013. Why was it important to you to become accredited?

Doug Metzler: We worked so hard for so many years doing the right thing. Now we have a benchmark to share with our clients as to what really goes on behind closed doors.

Right out of veterinary school, I was hired at an AAHA-accredited hospital. This provided the foundation for the level of care under which I would practice for the rest of my veterinary career. It was a given that once I established my own practice, becoming AAHA-accredited would be a priority.  

Starting a practice from scratch with the time and financial constraints of a sole practitioner forced me to put my goal of accreditation on the back burner. However, I designed my new facility with the idea that I was finally able to move forward with my goal.

This goal finally came to fruition when I hired Judy Baum as my practice manager in 2013. Judy and I have worked together from the beginning of my career. It was through her dedication to AAHA and her tireless work (not to mention her constant prodding), along with several staff members who went above and beyond to participate in this endeavor and the remaining staff who held down the fort, that we finally achieved our accreditation.  

Trends: What are your clients’ or potential clients’ reactions when you talk to them about your AAHA accreditation?

DM: “Good to know! I want to find a hospital that has the ability to care for my pets like this hospital does.”

It reassures my clients that we are dedicated to the highest standards of care for their pets. It provides a level of trust and comfort when making decisions on their pets’ medical or surgical needs.

Trends: What creative or fun ideas have you come up with to promote your accreditation, both online and within the hospital?

DM: On Facebook, we use the AAHA logo as our profile picture and a photo of a guide dog who appears to be looking down at it as our cover photo. We also regularly share AAHA’s wall photos and PetsMatter articles with our Facebook followers. In addition, we have an annual birthday celebration on the date of our accreditation!

Trends: Which tools or resources have you found to be most helpful in promoting your accreditation?

DM: Our Certificate of Accreditation, as well as the AAHA Champions Publicity Toolbox, brochures, window stickers, lapel pins, and marketing logos have all been very helpful in promoting our accreditation; however, nothing is more beneficial than for my staff and I to speak directly to clients about the importance accreditation and what it means to them and the care of their pets.

Trends: What one new thing do you plan on doing in your practice in the next year to improve how you celebrate your accreditation?

DM: We would like to add a photo of our staff with the AAHA logo plaque to our website, as well as offer to host training sessions for management groups, rescues, and other hospitals with the goal of increasing the standards of veterinary medicine in our community.

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